That makes it a much better candidate for GHOP that SoC, which requires
projects with a little more meat on them.

Yes it does.

Though many organizations have taken to funding their own GHOPs.  Perhaps this year PSF can use the SoC funds ($500/student) to host a bounty-sprint program much like GHOP?

IIRC, GHOP paid $100 per 3 tasks.  With the economy in the tank this could attract a lot more than highschool students.  Honestly I wish SoC was structured more like GHOP, it seemed much more effective and for the same funding could run year-round.

Or the same funds could be used to host various optimization competitions, replacement Py3 extension/type/function must match API and pass unit testing.  Fastest solution wins (ie) $1000 and fame for the person or team that submitted it.

Something to keep in mind and for the PSF board to ponder for this Fall.