You could be right, certainly. Before worlds this past season I would absolutely have agreed with you. However, I don't think it's crazy now. An 18th place at worlds doesn't do much for anybody's international reputation. Also, Paul/Islam placed 2nd at the Salt Lake City competition last season, with a higher score (143.76) than Orford/Williams got this year (137.60), so the international judges are not averse to their skating (and Paul/Islam have improved considerably since then, based on their summer competitions). Purely national reputation is a different story, and I hope it plays no part in the decision this year, although that may be wishful thinking. But the primary reason that I think Paul/Islam have the edge at this point is that, any reputations aside, I think they are currently the best skaters of the three teams. Orford/Williams perhaps are the most likely to improve significantly during the season, based on past performance in other seasons. They have also been strong competitors historically, which is another possible advantage. Gilles/Poirier are starting from behind this season due to injury IMO.