According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nova_%28rocket%29) the late Nova rocket was a "larger version" of the Saturn 5, meant to send manned missions to Mars. Some requests for proposals were obtained, but the whole project was sadly scrapped once it became apparent NASA would not receive a decent budget any longer once Apollo was cancelled.
Question: What was the best design among the received proposals? By best here it is meant what NASA regarded as the best at the time. Were they even properly evaluated by NASA before the project was scrapped? If not, then the answer is simply they were not evaluated. Perhaps they have been evaluated later just for academic interest?