But that’s a problem with the judging, no? Judges who overlook flaws in and/or award higher GOE/PCS to skaters based on their start order, reputation (or lack thereof), and jump content aren’t following the stated guidelines. The ISU seems to accept it as perfectly fine because they’re not getting disciplined for it.
It's a flaw in both the judging and using the World Rankings.That's not a flaw in the world rankings? That's a flaw in the judging.
As much as I love the idea of disciplining judges until they apply COP "correctly," I don't think that it would be easy to do. The bias in favor of skaters who start later in the Short Program appears to be unconscious and nearly universal among judges. If it were up to me, I would work on improving the quality of judging, but I would also stop seeding Short Programs in international Senior competition.