A couple of things, Mark ...
1. What do you believe to be the causes of the (growing) reversal of the applicant ratio?
2. Is there any way that you can avoid connecting at LAX by going to SFO instead of LAX? (e.g., United stopped flying from Chicago to SJC direct)
As for #1, I had mentioned in the past that I have seen people leave EDA for what has turned out to be better opportunities in other areas (management consulting, web 2.0 a la Google, returning to semi, etc.). So that would reduce the candidate pool.