You got to hand it to the NCAA for really being on top of its game. After the major xc conferences have been held, they announce that xc conference action will be the #1 criteria used to select teams for 2021.
The ncaa wrote:
The Division I Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Committee will use the following criteria to select teams:
Schools will have a declaration window from March 3 at midnight Eastern time until March 5 at 7:59 p.m. Eastern time to be considered for team selections.
Conference championship performance holds the most weight.
After the conference championship, a team will be evaluated on its body of work for all competitions, regardless of the time of year they occurred. (This includes teams that do not have a conference championship.)
Common opponents and head-to-head competition against Division I opponents only will be used when comparing teams.
Committee members will use the following criteria to select individuals for the championships.
Schools will have a declaration window from March 3 at midnight Eastern time until March 5 at 7:59 p.m. Eastern time to be considered for individual selections.
The top individual finisher at each conference championship who is not part of a qualifying team will advance to the NCAA championships (maximum of 32 individuals depending on how many conferences host a conference championship).
The remaining individual spots will be selected at large by the committee to fill the field to 38.
This includes individuals that did not have the opportunity to compete in a conference championship.
The committee will eliminate the designation of A-teams and B-teams. Whoever a team runs on a given day is viewed as an A-team. In a single-day competition, however, only the varsity team would be considered for selection purposes.
The minimum number of competitions to be considered for selections will be one.
We were very curious as to what they would do with the individuals. It looks like they are going to be some subpar individuals at the meet as some of the xc conferences are horrific but it wasn't the worst solution as coming up with a fair way to pick 38 individuals would be tough.