Yes, we are limited as to what the Vbulletin software for the site is capable of. As far as the site team having a different color username, this has to do with a user classification, and that affects the username throughout the entire site, and not just a thread or post.
if using the full web version of frf (not a mobile app), you do have a way to view threads differently that might could help in what you are trying to accomplish somewhat.
You can look at the toolbar above a thread, use the thread display mode dropdown box to change how a thread tree works. Using the hybrid mode, may be what you want to do.
When using the hybrid mode, then you will have an outline/thread tree at the top of the page, which shows the OP and more. Here is a screenshot of this thread in hybrid mode. You can also change a setting in your user cp to how ALL threads are displayed if you want this to apply to all of them that you view.