That said, there is still a strong reason to consider a private university (even if they are not in the top 10 for CS, but are still amongst the top 25). Many of the flag ship state universities do not directly admit students to the CS department. CS major is considered "impacted", and admission criteria may have very little to do with programming ability (e.g., UW CSE emphasizes grades in Physics and Math).
OTOH, I believe you can still transfer into the UC Berkeley BA CS program -- in the College of Arts and Letters from a community college with ~3.6-3.8 GPA. Transferring or getting admitted into the BS EECS program (in the school of engineering) is much harder, but the CS classes the students take are no different. The "BA" vs. "BS" means very little at Berkeley, as they also grant BAs in Physics/Math/etc...
If you're intrinsically motivated and are fairly set on being a software engineer or going to grad school in CS (as opposed to also pondering electrical/computer engineering), going to a community college which is considered a feeder school for Berkeley (such as De Anza College) and transferring into the BA CS program at Berkeley/UCLA/UCSD/UCSC seems to be route of least resistance.
Of course the big downsides are losing the first 2-3 years of the social "college experience" (important if you're more interested in entrepreneurship rather than being an individual contributor) as well as limited internship opportunities during freshman/sophomore years (OTOH participating in open source or doing side projects will help greatly).
 It can take up 3 or more years to transfer due to lack of space in many general education and major pre-requisite classes: I was unable to register in a vector calculus class until sophomore year just due to supply/demand and lack of registration priority.
It's the same issue with comparing MBA programs to accelerator programs. A Masters in Business Administration is NOT a Masters in Entrepreneurship, which I would argue is a more apt juxtaposition to the "school of hard knocks". Sure, an MBA and accelerator experience may overlap in many places -- but they sure diverge in many others.
That doesn't stop people from asking the question "Harvard MBA or Y Combinator?" though...
I agree, the "humble" thing about University of Washington was pretty cringe-worthy.
I'd argue that Harvard CS is top tier, it's just much, much smaller than the schools it competes against. Michael Mitzenmacher, Leslie Valiant, Michael Rabin, Greg Morrisett, Eddie Kohler, Krzysztof Gajos, Margo Seltzer, and Barbara Grosz are all among the very best in their fields (or in the case of Grosz, were the very best before they went on to be Dean).
In general the faculty are very, very high quality, but in contrast to a school like MIT or Washington, which have probably 60-80 of faculty, Harvard has only about 30.