I know this is oldish but I'll just share my opinion.
I don't think UC is "bad", its just not your typical traditional university.
ANU is one of those theoretical universities with more of the traditional courses.
UC offers more hands-on qualifications. They have DipEd and other courses that ANU doesn't have. It doesn't take a genius to look at the courses they offer and understand that these two unis just cater to a different kind of person.
UC is pretty crappy for things like Arts but I know some people there who really enjoy what they do, and ANU does not offer those courses.
I wouldn't view UC as a second choice for ANU because it does not really cater for those kinds of courses. If I hadn't got into ANU for Arts I would have gone to Macquarie or UNSW or UOW or something, because they have the kind of courses I am into.
Don't judge a university just on what other people say, find what is the best option for you and take it. You're an adult now, make your own choices.