But even if the chance of an upset isn't especially high, it's still there, and on something as important as Nationals qualification I consider it my duty as the organizational leader to explore all possible ways to reduce the risk of flukes that could negatively affect ASU's standing abroad.
Just to note: these posts are doing far more to "damage ASU's reputation abroad" than any ASU quizbowl performance could do. I really don't care whether or not you qualify for the ICT; I do care that you're making squirrelly arguments and seemingly trying to get an exception to the rule to ensure that your program gets a "nationals bid."
I've been on teams that barely beat our own "C" team and lost to other teams' "B" teams in extremely embarrassing fashion. Somehow, our reputation managed to survive just fine. People don't care so much about "flukes" as they do about a sustained record of high achievement and progress (the latter in particular for non-established schools such as yours). Attending and doing well at tournaments throughout the year is far more important than how you do at one specific tournament.
Our club's mission statement is to represent ASU as well as possible and this includes getting as many Nationals-level teams out there as we can
I think you're missing the point. Qualifying for "nationals" by getting a regional bid pretty much means nothing if you come from a super-weak region. If you want to represent ASU well, you should work hard to improve at playing quizbowl. Also note that noted nationals tournament ACF Nationals does not require qualification, so if you're worried about going to a "nationals" tournament for say, funding reasons (i.e. to impress school administration), well there ya go.
I might indeed just be making a mountain out of a molehill
I think you are. From my experience with recruiting new people to quizbowl, the last thing on most of their minds is intra-team competition. They enjoy playing not because they get to go to nationals or scheme their way onto the A team, but because they enjoy playing the game.
So basically, until this region's circuit becomes stronger there will be a disincentive for each school to enter more than 1 team; but how will the region ever become stronger unless more players (more teams) compete
The only disincentive here is the one you're inventing. People like to play quizbowl. Pretty much every other team in the country lets as many people as can play the SCT play. They don't obsess over whether or not it would cost them a "nationals bid" (indeed, check out Davidson last year, which managed to qualify two strong teams for the ICT in DII).
And I still believe, unless your experience can tell me otherwise, that ASU B (D2) would be a completely harmless addition to the California SCT site.
This just seems silly to me. Your club, I'm sure, has limited financial resources and spending them on sending a team to a far-away tournament when there's one literally right next to you makes no sense. Use those resources to send your A team to more tournaments in Cali where they can learn more instead and improve as a team.
but are also logistically planning for a potential invasion by Southern California D2 teams trying to snatch an easy autobid from the nascent and still defenseless Mountain West (Region 13)
Relax. People in QB aren't crazy zero-sum monsters. I don't know where your fears of a "California invasion" are coming from. UCSD currently isn't planning an invasion of Arizona (I recommend an invasion through the Verde River valley!), but perhaps we can be cajoled into coming and stealing your auto-bids so that this situation can go away [note: sarcasm intended].