It's really difficult for me to judge how difficult a year this is going to be wrt acceptances. On the one hand, I'm seeing a lot of highly qualified posts of people getting rejected from (good) mid-tier programs. On the other, I got a first round acceptance to a program that, judging by my credentials, I thought was a huge reach. Maybe this is an artefact of the phenomenon that TheEconGuy10 is describing. I honestly have no idea.