> I don't follow the dance teams much but I am wondering if this year, due
> to the "heavyweights" retiring or opting out, what are the chances that
> we, the US could have 2 teams in the top 10? Does anyone think that L&T
> can move up a few spaces and B&A can make top 10? Any thoughts. I don't
> recognize some of he other names in 5-13 place.
Except for Humphreys&Baranov, all those teams in 5-13 places have been
in the top 10 at Worlds at least once before, in deeper fields. All
the teams currently ahead of Lang & Tchernyshev have beaten them
before either this season, in the previous two or three seasons, or
both. They are definitely competitive with L&Tch. The fact that US
networks tend not to show the non-American teams below 5th place very
often doesn't mean that these teams are not just as well established
and well respected by the international skating community as the
Americans are -- in some cases moreso.
> Other than great success, what would that mean for USA dancing? would we
> be able to send 3 teams to worlds next year??
For three teams, the two teams this year would have to place such that
their placements add up to no more than 13 -- e.g., 6th and 7th, 5th
and 8th, etc. It's not going to happen this year. IF both teams make
improvements for next season (remember they both got a slow start this
season because of injury, with L&Tch missing the whole Grand Prix), IF
a few of the teams ahead of them retire, and IF the judging panels
drawn for next year's Worlds (which will be in the US, so they could
benefit from crowd support as well) happen to include majorities of
judges who favor their strengths over those of their rivals, maybe
they'll manage next year to earn three for 2004.
In addition, though, Delobel & Schoenfelder are another youngish team
on the rise who will probably be French champions next year with
Anissina/Peizerat gone. They also lost time to injury this season and
apparently they had two falls in the first compulsory which is why
they're so low on this list -- they will quite likely pull ahead of
B&A before this competition is over and could continue to rank ahead
of them next season. If Russia gets three spots for next year (as
looks likely from the current standings), Romaniuta & Barantsev (2000
and 2001 Jr. World champions) will probably be at Worlds next year --
B&A have never beaten them yet either.
No harm in wishful thinking, but be aware that there are a lot of
"ifs" that would be necessary for the American teams to place as high
as you'd like them to.