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Monday Rankings

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National Rankings – Week of January 30th
1. Utah – 196.992
2. Arkansas – 196.756
3. Florida – 196.563
4. Georgia – 196.519
5. Oklahoma – 196.444
6. Alabama – 196.325
7. UCLA – 196.231
8. Oregon State – 196.050
9. Nebraska – 195.900
10. Penn State – 195.869
11. Ohio State – 195.519
12. Stanford – 195.117
13. Auburn – 195.106
14. LSU – 194.900
15. Denver – 194.738
16. Boise State – 194.700
17. Missouri – 194.663
18. Arizona – 194.625
19. Illinois – 194.500
20. West Virginia – 194.444
21. Washington – 194.419
22. Michigan – 194.292
23. NC State – 194.250
24. Iowa – 194.181
25. Minnesota – 194.006

Full rankings at Troester

Let’s take a moment and think about how high these scores are.  Utah’s current average is higher than Florida’s was at this point last season, when everyone was raving about Florida running away with the title.  There has been no such discussion about Utah, and I suppose they do have to prove the ability to bring these scores on the road before we start talking about them as title contenders.

Even beyond the top spot, we have a marked increase.  Penn State’s current average puts them at 10th, but it would have been high enough for 5th at this point last season.  And yet, if we then move beyond the top 12, the scores level out in comparison to last year.  Once we get to the Denvers and Missouris and West Virginias of the world, we see that these schools are not getting the same bump in scoring as the top schools are.  So the rich are getting richer while the poorer stay the same.

Why?  There could be several reasons.  The first possible explanation is that the top teams are just more talented than they were last year, and that is reflected in the scores.  It’s quite true that the new freshmen are very strong and that almost all of the top schools have traded up from last year.  But if that is the reason, then the coaches as a whole should be concerned.  What has happened to the parity you all have been lauding for the past few years?  The top schools appear to be distancing themselves from the rest, and looking at incoming recruiting classes for next year, that isn’t changing.

But maybe that’s not the main reason.  Maybe it has more to do with the judges going overboard early in the year (an argument I would support).  But if that’s the case, shouldn’t all the schools be seeing an equal bump?  Maybe it’s just a home scoring issue, that charitable scores at home have increased even more this year for the top teams.  That’s also a major problem.  If only top schools get the benefit of the doubt (or the benefit of blindness), then that has a devastating effect on parity as well.

Other thoughts:

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