Last week I compared scoring as a whole between this season and last season. Now, it’s time to break it down by team and event. Where have teams improved? Where have they fallen off? Score comparisons are based on average score at the same point last season.
The Gators have improved the most on vault, where a few of the then-freshmen struggled in the first few weeks of last year and earned some low scores. There have been no such 9.7s from the front of the lineup this year.
The big expectation for this season was that vault and floor scoring would increase with the influx of gymnasts strong on those events. The floor numbers look good, but vault can get better. It should also be encouraging to see such improvement for the Sooners on what was already their best event.
No surprise here that Michigan is all kinds of MGoBlue given the dramatic improvement in depth and quality over last season and the scarcity of falls so far this year. I still think vault can get better, but it was the Wolverines’ best event last season, so the increase will never be what we’re seeing on beam.
I’m actually a bit surprised that UCLA has increased scoring on three out of four events. Vault was never going to be better because the Bruins were so good from the start last year and are accepting a few too many 9.8s this year. The big bump on floor is the most interesting to me, but it remains to be seen if that is just a home thing or an all-the-time thing.
Similarly to UCLA, Alabama has not started as quickly on vault as it did last season, but dissimilarly to UCLA there should be no depth concerns. Bars was a struggle at the beginning last year and has shown the most improvement this season. Even beam, which hasn’t been great so far, is not significantly different.
See: Michigan. It’s all going better everywhere for the Tigers this season, which probably says more about last season than it does about this year. The improvement on beam and bars was absolutely vital, but there is still territory left to be covered.
This number is all about not counting falls on beam. That has been the single most important development for Nebraska in the first month of the season. Imprecise landings are the biggest factor contributing to the negative scores elsewhere.
It’s a big accomplishment for this team that they have improved the scoring on bars after the losses of Ding and Nuccio. The negative numbers on beam and floor are not unexpected, and beam composition has been the watchword of the month for the Gymdogs.
I’m a bit surprised that Utah is the only completely negative team in the top 10. A little bit of this is still having to bear those scores from the first meet (especially on bars), but beam has been notably less reliable than we would expect from a Utah team.
See: Michigan, LSU. This team is altogether better than it was during the first month last year. Let’s see if the scores continue to tell us the same story.
Even though Stanford is flying under the radar this year, the start has been significantly stronger than the 194 factory it was last year. There is no major hole to dig out of right now.