Monday Rankings and Notes

With a fine Saturday night showing, UCLA emerges from the weekend with the highest score by a wide margin. Congratulations in particular to the people who voted for UCLA in the poll after all the meets had already finished. Well done, you. That’s some awesome prognosticating.

Rankings for January 14th, 2013 (Full rankings)

1. UCLA – 196.788
Zamarripa (AA) and Courtney (VT, FX) are currently performing in mid- to late-season form. Combined, these two have been worth about .500 over replacement level (i.e., 9.800, 196.000) per meet. Courtney appears to be emerging as the reliable #2 that Peszek would have been and that Larson should have been. The 197.425, while impressive for week 2, masks some deficiencies, such as the sixth routine on UB, BB, and FX (Francis, Courtney, and Bynum respectively are not yet the solutions). VT still exposes a big gap between the best and the rest, and the 9.875s from McDonald and Baer cannot be expected every week.

2. Michigan – 196.738
A phenomenal start to the season has been earned through stellar work on multiple events, but bars is clearly the farthest along and deserves the top national mark of 49.350. The single biggest difference between Michigan and Nebraska last weekend was the proficiency in bars dismounts, which alone accounted for a significant chunk of the margin of victory. Though the Wolverines are currently ranked #3 on beam, they do not have a sure-hit lineup. I’d like to see some experimentation if the depth allows. In both meets so far, vault was the tightest-scored event, but the potential does graduall need to stop being potential over the next two to three weeks.

3. Oklahoma – 196.575
The Sooners have been strong through both meets but have suffered weaker moments in each one that have kept the scores in the range of perfectly acceptable. Importantly, the problem areas have not been repeats, so they will likely smooth themselves out through continued training and competition. Erica Brewer’s return is a major boost, but the vault rotation still needs to be resolved (translation: Brie Olson needs to be in and hitting). As usual, this is not a team of stars, and Oklahoma’s best route to 197s in the early part of the season will require Spears, Scaman, Brewer, Olson, Mooring, and Kmieciak each earning consistent 9.875s.

3. Florida – 196.575
The surprise loss at LSU is not cause for alarm. The score would have been well into the 197s if not for the two falls on beam, a normal flaw for January. I’m sure Sloan will get 9.9s on beam this season, but do I wonder about her ability to be a Sturdy Susan every week. Balancing scoring potential with consistency will be a theme this year. I’m pleased that Rhonda is going to be more experimental this year with her beam lineup. They’ll be hitting soon. By February, Sloan will need to come in on floor, and the bars stars will need to start being just that.

5. LSU – 196.475
It has been a humongous start for a team with high hopes. No one is surprised that the power events are a major strength, and the Tigers are competitive with anyone in the country on those two pieces. I’m interested to see how true that statement remains during a road meet. The consistency is a concern (three falls in the last meet even though all were dropped), as is the national competitiveness of the bars rotation and the ability for anyone in the beam rotation to post 9.9s. Right now, this is a high 196s team that still has to prove its 197 ability.

6. Alabama – 196.450
This workmanlike start for the Tide was expected. The 196.450 is child’s play for this team’s talent, but they are not at full lineup strength and have clear work to do on handstands and landings. Crucially, the highlights of the first meet were Demeo, Jacob, and Milliner. It will be vital that they combine to pick up the scoring lost from GSE as well as emerge as scoring leaders to guard against the senior exodus after this season. Lauren Beers didn’t have a strong debut, but frankly the routines she showed will not be needed very much since the team is so deep on vault and floor. The seniors didn’t show all their events and started a bit 9.825 in this meet, and Kayla Williams was disappointingly non-factorish. Watch that as we go on.  

7. Nebraska – 196.300
While Nebraska needed a high-scoring final beam rotation to reach this level, that in and of itself is news. Five solid, well-executed beam routines in a row and a whopping eight gymnasts competing (up from six) are encouraging signs of things to come. On most events, the landings still look to be in the fetal stages. Wong and DeZiel are already on another level compared to the rest of the team, and the two should fight it out for Big 10 AA champ again this year.  

8. Georgia – 195.813
The second meet for the Gymdogs was an encouraging improvement from the first, but this team is on a slower trajectory than many of its peers (or should-be peers). Outside of vault, which has been excellent and can become more excellent to the tune of 49.450, half of the routines in the Arkansas meet scored under 9.800. The floor rotation is still underdeveloped (Tanella had the highest score last time), and most of these events could seriously use the 9.850s from Noel Couch when she returns.

9. Arkansas – 195.775
Even though this start is not nearly as strong as last year’s (and unfortunately “not nearly as strong as last year” may be the theme of the season), I see no reason for particular discouragement about this first result. There were a few breaks, almost all from freshmen, but the team pulled out solid scores in spite of them. Bars will be a stressful rotation without Pisani and Howdeshell, so watch if anyone is ever able to get a 9.800. Grable will have to be the sun and stars, and she began already with three scores of 9.875+ 

10. Stanford – 195.725
Compared to last season, this start is positively euphoric for Stanford. Having Ivana Hong in on multiple events from the beginning of the season makes all the difference, and she’s already 9.875-9.900ing all over the place. There are some sturdy routines from the freshmen but no obvious 9.9s, which means it will not be enough to rely on them. Shapiro will have to be more than a single-eventer. There won’t be room for a lack of contribution from any of the stars.

11. Denver – 195.650
12. Minnesota – 195.550
13. Arizona – 195.338
14. Kentucky – 195.325
15. Utah – 195.300
16. Central Michigan – 195.013
17. Maryland – 195.000
17. California – 195.000
19. NC State – 194.988
20. Southern Utah – 194.875
21. Ohio State – 194.800
22. West Virginia – 194.675
23. Oregon State – 194.488
24. Auburn – 194.438
25. BYU – 194.275

3 thoughts on “Monday Rankings and Notes”

  1. Heard UCLA's Mdlt has a torn labrum in her shoulder but if she is doing vault maybe we will still get to see her on bars later on this year. She has always been a really solid bar worker for them.

  2. I also think michigan looked better on vault in the intrasquad than they did vs nebraska — with more sticks and none of the weird sideways landings. my theory is that they felt good about vault after the intrasquad, and (rightly) focused on their other events. so, now that they have built some confidence, I hope they will feel free to stick their vaults again 🙂


  3. Love Stanford team and I'm excited to see them compete at Georgia this weekend!

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