I do know what a BBQ comp is and what is a basic expectation of taste and style is at a comp. The nature of this comp. is a KCBS certified comp.Yes, there are different regional tastes but you don't see very much of that in most KCBS type of comps. Maybe a bit of difference in heat, spices, and sweetness are the biggest differences. It is a proven fact that sweet trumps heat at comps. Also try turning in ribs that aren't glazed with a thick sweet sauce and see how far that will get you.
I won't argue comps with you, but it is very expensive to do comps now days. I did comps for around 15 years, then quit because of the time and cost to do them about 2004 and I still catered BBQ til 2010 when I had to quit due to health problems. So, Yes I'm speaking from experience about comps. I used 2 Spicewine smokers and a Keg for doing chicken.
The time to experiment is at home during practice cooks when you are doing subtle changes to get that just right taste for a comp. Most comp turn-ins are one hit wonders with strong flavors designed to be tasted 30 or more minutes after you turned in your box. Most of the time the meat is warm, not hot when tasted at the judging. That's why most competitors even say it's not what they would want to sit down and make a meal of.
Practice is the best way to get your cooking and timing down to how it needs to be at a comp. so you don't miss a turn-in time.
Good luck and let us know how things work out.