"Pretty accurate, but I'd replace Vermont with Illinois and take M of O off altogether."
Miami of Ohio has long been considered a Public Ivy due to being one of the oldest universities in the country and since historically it appealed to a lot of students from the Northeast.
Vermont is considered a Public Ivy because for many years it was the best state university in New England, a region that historically neglected public universities due to the dominance of great private colleges and universities. Years back, Vermont was considered better academically than state universities in many other states outside New England. If a rich kid from New England did not get into a real ivy and wanted to stay in New England, he could always spend 4 years skiing in Vermont.
Illinois is not a Public Ivy because it lacks the requisite social status and does not draw enough students from out-of-state (esopecially from the Northeast), even though it's a good school academically. Schools like Michigan and Wisconsin always drew a lot of kids from the Northeast.
Even though a particular public university is strong academically, it would not necesarily be considered a Public Ivy unless it has some social status and draws students from outside its region. That is one reason Texas is not considered a Public Ivy. It might be OK academically, but it's still considered too regional (at least historically, it is). It also lacks social status, outside the region. Schools like Florida or Colorado are not considered Public Ivies because they are not academically strong enough across the board. Just because a rich kid who didn't get into a real Ivy might find them attractive places to spend four years partying with his frat buddies and hanging out on the beach or ski slopes doesn't make them Ivies.
Obviously, we're dealing with stereotypes here. But, a lot of posters are missing the class and social status dimensions of why a school is considered a Public Ivy. Unfortunately, those distinctions are based in historical perceptions of a school. Adiitionally, these perceptions are from a Northeastern perspective. Some posters are probably too young to have a sense of those distinctions. The academic quality or selectivity of some schools they list is too recent to matter in terms of being considered a Public Ivy. I don't personally subscribe to these class-based distinctions, but I am aware that they've existed historically in the perception and prestige of certain schools that are considered Public Ivies.
When Moll or authors of similar books refer to "Public Ivies" their point is that many of the better public universities might provide an education of comparable quality to a private university for a lower cost. While that may be true in many cases, it does not necessarily consider the social and prestige factors in what is historically considered a Public Ivy. Moll et al. are using the term in a different way.