All those if’s are if’s because there are lots of things that can go wrong in the process of hiring the “best” person. The hardest one for the hiring people is what do you do when at the last minute the hiree calls and says he changed his mind. They are left with a couple of weeks to find someone and get them through the background checks and physicals. All jobs have alternates just in case, but the reality is that even with alternates there are some jobs that still come open at the last minute.
I would say at this point you need to have some personal contact in addition to applying online. Do what you have to do to talk to someone. If you get a chance to be an alternate, take the physical right away and be ready to go. The first group will be going down at winfly in August. The bulk of people will be going in the first part of October.