If we use the budget method, I'm willing to *try* to keep track of the standings using the same method as before (auto-updating spreadsheet shared from my Google Drive). It's been three years since I've touched this sort of thing.
Unfortunately, our friends at Gracenote:
haven't updated their predictions since April 1, and that has only the top 30 countries. However, this site:
seems to have predictions for most medals (wikipedia says 339 events, table has 334 golds, 331 silvers, and 392 bronze (always higher because of dual bronze in combat sports) - oh well, we don't need perfection - just something reasonable to use as a benchmark).
It's not that I'm unwilling to help if we do the original format, but I've found it to be a PITA to keep track of medals with men's/women's/mixed medals.
If I do this, I could probably use a bit of help up front (somebody else keeping score) until I verify that I can scrape the data from the official site (ideal), wikipedia, or some other site that is accurate, timely, and easy to scrape. Another complication for me is that my mother arrives on the 22nd for a 1-week visit - can't ignore her.
What I did last time was make the budget equal to the sum of the top three countries (based on whichever predictions are used) minus half a buck. That amounted to a budget of 323.5 out of a total of 918. Using the second link above, it would be 911.5 out of 3055.
So, if this is the method we want to use, then we probably just need to decide whose predictions to use and set the budget. Gracenote gets referenced quite a bit if you search for predictions. I'd try to hold out as long as possible in the hope that they'll produce a comprehensive list as in the past. The other site (or a different site if anybody has any recommendations) could be plan B. Just need to decide with enough time for people to choose teams.
By the way, I'm not trying to influence the choice toward the budget method. I never meant for it to compete with or replace the other method - doing both is always an option.