Mrs. P, I understand that. No one is suggesting that competitions award the medals (aka, the direct prize) based on previous results. And truthfully, I agree with Mathman essentially - there's an elegance to letting all the eligible folks compete against each other for those slots. It gives Nationals more prestige. But if Nationals is in fact the be-all-and-end-all, why bother with 4CC/Worlds/Olympics etc. Why bother with international competition at all if it's essentially a three month denouement? Because it is more. The US Federation by definition should be sending those that best represent it. Is one competition really enough to determine that?
I'd also point out that the "committee" this season would have a fairly easy job. In ladies, pairs and dance, the most successful skaters would be the exact same as at Nationals, virtually corresponding to the rankings . Only men's, with it's randomness provided something different. And ideally, that should be the case - the guys you send out to compete against the world early on (and are successful) should be the best your nation has to offer.
Mrs. P, Virtue/Moir aren't National champions this year, but they are going to Worlds. Do you think that if D/W had to withdraw from Nationals, that spot should go to the Hubbells? Belbin/Agosto were able to skate at Worlds 09 despite missing Nationals. Is that wrong?