[hide]Soma needs to lose. Every good shonen protagonist has to be flat out beaten or at least lose once. It's tradition. The closest we've gotten is Soma struggling for a bit, but pulling through at the last minute. I'm sure you know that excitement is going to wear off if Soma just defeats everybody no sweat?
You seem to feel as if Shokugeki no Soma is on a time limit or something. I believe this manga is popular enough to stick around for a while. As a comparison, Goku was beaten by Jackie Chun by chapter 50-something, and was completely stomped by Taopaipai at chapter 80-something. A petty comparison, but my point is that it's never to early for the protag to lose, and now seems to be as good a time as ever.
A few of elite 10 can easily be handled by other members of the special Jewels Generation, for example, people like, Hayama. And Soma already beat an elite 10 flunkie, didn't he?[/hide]
! He lost already. Never won against his father, lost against that former elite 10 guy and was 2/3rd in the primaries. But this is not the point. If he loses now, it is basically back to square one. Souma is not on a time limit but I don’t want to see it doing endless circles. He has to get a seat so the story can move on to the next phase. Once he is seated he will meet the other elite ten, has do to work for the school, meet important people and do work outside the school, defend his seat and try to win higher seats. What good would his loss do here for the story expect prolonging it needlessly? Which loss has more meaning and impact? Him losing here or him losing his seat once he is seated? Having the protagonist lose once in a while is good but only once in a while because the story only moves forward when the protagonist actually keeps winning.