I'm not saying a short tube won't work, but the added length is a nice safety factor. Just stands to reason that the more surface area your filter has, the faster it will allow the runnings to flow and the less likely it will clog.
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Keep in mind that all of the draining happens at the cooler outlet, so a longer braid doesn't really provide more "space" for the wort to run through.
But a longer braid does provide more surface area to gather and channel the wort to the outlet which could make a difference with compressed grain beds and gummy grains like wheat and rye.
Just a thought
But it really doesn't channel it to the output since the braid is open. The wort merely runs through it.