Sliding Scale wrote:
The draw back in my mind is that the P5 would dominate.
They would make up the vast majority of qualifying teams and the best individuals moving to finals would come from non qual. P5.
Some very good mid major athletes would not get the opportunity to "race" for a fianls slot.
On the flip side we could just remove team scoring outside of conference meets.
P5 already pretty much dominates; although, every now and then you have some non P5 schools pop up (Houston, NC A&T).
Limiting the rosters to 40 or 60 athletes with only 2/3 per event, coupled with a team score generated more so from all event areas may help balance the competitive levels between P5s and other D1s. No longer can a P5 program hoard in one event area, unless they want to have less of a chance to do well as a track & field team.
Also, the roster limit would INCLUDE all distance runners for XC, thus limiting the hoarding going on by some schools in that area - and again, would likely level the competitive levels between schools at least from a depth perspective.
Mid-Major Individual Concern
Limiting the qualifying individuals to the top 24 is certainly less than the current 48. I'm sure we could find examples where someone NOT in the top 24 (i.e. 25-48+) qualified for nationals, but it is probably the exception. Perhaps it could be adjusted where the top 24 on the performance list NOT on a qualifying team could compete. Maybe this only gets in the 30s deep, but closer to the 48th mark to address that concern.
On the other hand that solution has a weakness. There could be the exceptional year where the top 48 in any one event are made up primarily of the top teams, and top 24 NOT on a qualifying team go into the 60s or 70s on the performance list. A fix for that would by top 24 NOT on a qualifying team or in the top 48 declared. That way it would provide the Mid-Major (or a P5 individual) athlete an opportunity to show what they can do, but without going too deep down the performance list.
On a side note - we already have in place limited spots for International Competition. The U.S. Women 100 Hurdlers have been a super deep event for a good # of years. Yet, typically only 3 can participate in the Olympics, just like all the other countries even though the U.S. #4-10+ could potentially medal.