2013 vs. 2012

In this week’s edition of the number factory, I started out by comparing how each of the current top 25 teams are scoring after three weeks of competition this year versus last year, and a few interesting things came out of that. First, let’s look at the numbers.

Difference in average score after three weeks – 2013 vs. 2012
1. Eastern Michigan +3.425 (Ranking difference: +23)
2. Pittsburgh +2.912 (+20)
3. Michigan +2.617 (+18)
4. California +2.400 (+17)
5. Kentucky +1.925 (+14)
6. Minnesota +1.913 (+16)
7. Central Michigan +1.758 (+14)
8. LSU +1.541 (+10)
9. Maryland +1.480 (+10)
10. Kent State +1.425 (+9)
11. Denver +1.200 (+7)
12. Arizona +0.729 (+2)
13. Florida +0.659 (+5)
14. Oklahoma +0.392 (+3)
15. Stanford +0.312 (+2)
16. NC State +0.192 (-4)
17. Alabama +0.188 (+1)
18. Auburn +0.133 (-2) 
19. UCLA +0.013 (-3) 
20. Nebraska -0.075 (-2)
21. Georgia -0.383 (-2)
22. Boise State -0.413 (-4)
23. Utah -0.588 (-5)
24. Ohio State -0.641 (-8)
25. Oregon State -0.700 (-6)

First, I was surprised at how many new teams we currently have in the top 25 that almost never spend any time there, with seven new entries that were out of the top 25 last season. That’s a sizable number for a sport that traditionally sees little variation in the top teams. While I do expect the upstarts to fall, being the surprising early entrant in the top 25 was exactly how Kent State began the 2011 season. 

Also interesting to me was that just six of the top 25 currently have lower averages than they did at this point last season. Granted, some of that is because the teams that have fallen significantly from last year (Hello down there, Arkansas!) have dropped out of the top 25 completely, but another reflector of higher overall scores is that we have a few teams with higher averages that have actually dropped in the rankings. To illustrate the overall shift, last year a 194.000 average after three weeks of competition was good for #25. This year, it gets you #31. In fact, the current average score of all the top 25 teams is historically high. 

Average score of top 25 teams after three weeks
2013 – 195.639
2012 – 195.301
2011 – 194.998
2010 – 195.071
2009 – 195.121
2008 – 194.866
2007 – 194.710
2006 – 193.972
2005 – 194.570
2004 – 195.761

Note of slight inconsistency: In a couple of these years I actually took the numbers from the fourth week of competition instead of the third because so few teams competed in the first week (well under half) that it hardly could count as a week of competition. That ended up making the numbers higher than they might otherwise have been since the averages usually increase as the weeks go on. And yet, they were still well lower than the 2013 average.

It appeared last season that judging was starting to move concertedly back toward those 2004 levels where everyone got a 9.975 for a fall, and while the sample size is currently too small for this season to make any kind of sweeping statement, the increase we’re seeing is not insignificant. Happy 2004.

Is increased scoring a bad thing? Not necessarily, but it is notable. The separation is much more important than the total, and it’s something to watch as we go on. 

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3 thoughts on “2013 vs. 2012”

  1. not in the top 25 but Ball State is having their best year in over a decade. they are up 12 spots in the rankings and the average score is +2.525

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