Camera just needs to be better than current Nikon D3s
Canon needs to do better than beating a 2 year old camera - they need to be competitive with whatever Nikon brings forth to replace the D3s.
Arguable. Consider the following:
12 MP, 6 fps Nkon D300 announced 23-July-2007
12 MP, 7 fps Nikon D300s announced 30-July-2009
18 MP, 8 fps Canon 7D announced 1-Sep-2009
16 MP, 6 fps Nikon D7000 announced 15-Sep-2010
Since the D7000 is still not up to 7D in both pixel count and fps, merely on par in terms of high ISO performance (although it excels in low ISO dynamic range), we can safely say Nikon has yet to surpass the 7D with a competing model 2 years after the release of the 7D which was announced 2 years after D300.
With the 1D5 set to surpass the D3/D3s in almost all aspects (low ISO dynamic range is still an unknown), this is merely history repeating itself.