Maybe a better comparison might be MLB pre draft days. Teams like the Yankees, Dodgers, Cardinals and Giants would just go out and out bid everyone else for the amateur players (now NILs). As a result those teams were powerhouses every year while the others had to do the best they could or maybe sign a hometown boy who turned into a star. Then the big teams would stash away their talent in in their farm systems (depth chart). At least kids now can go into the portal while pre-Curt Flood those baseball players were stuck with their teams.Your last sentence is correct because, unlike the 4 major US professional sports, college football has zero control on spending.
Looking at those, the two sports with a hard salary cap have the most parity, while MLB with no cap but a luxury tax has the least. College football would be more dominated by a small percentage of teams than baseball is.