I applied to (and was accepted) to UC Irvine as well but ultimately chose not to attend. I think you are right on target with your thinking for the mostpart, but you're going to have to 'compete' wherever you go. UC Irvine isn't that far from UCLA, USC, Pepperdine, and several other schools in Southern California. UCSD also has an up-and-coming business school that's relatively nearby. Irvine does do a great job placing though.
Also, you should probably look at the salary and placement statistics for the two schools if you haven't already. When I visited UC Irvine, most of the students I spoke with seemed to be more interested in marketing than finance (finance seems to be concentrated at UCLA for SoCal). Not to say that you can't get a job in finance, but check which companies hire UC Irvine students compared to Simon if you are convinced that you want to work in finance.
And lastly, I wouldn't worry too much about rankings. Most of the rankings systems aren't taken too seriously by most people on this site.....
"You'd be out of your mind, like, uh, uh, you wouldn't be in your right mind."