Florida has retained a firm grasp on #1, and at this point in the season it is becoming more difficult for any teams to catch the Gators before RQS kicks in. It’s not easy to outscore the Gators by over a half point, which is what Oklahoma would need to do to move ahead. Likewise, UCLA would need to outscore Michigan by over a half point to move into the top 3. As long as no one scores like a crazy person (in either direction), it’s unlikely that we’ll see a major change in the top few teams in the next couple of weeks. Lower in the ranks, however, there is a great opportunity for shift. That Utah, LSU, Nebraska sector is ripe for flux, and the 11-16 teams could end up in any positions after this week.
All of the important action accosts us right from the start on Friday, so there will have to be a lot of bouncing back and forth between meets and scores, which of course I love. Alabama @ Florida is the headliner, and while I’m sure Alabama would love to get the win on the road after the loss to Georgia, this will be Florida’s meet to lose. However, I do expect Alabama to get over that 197 hump. Florida could possibly be in the running for 198 depending on the lineup. They may have to wait until Johnson is back and hitting (a few more weeks yet), but if Hunter is in the AA, they’ll have a shot.
Michigan, Georgia, and Oklahoma will all be in action on Friday, but pay special attention as well to LSU. They’ve been very up and down (one week it’s 197, the next it’s 195), and a hit meet on the road would do wonders. This is an opportunity for another big score, which the Tigers need after losing ground next week.
On Saturday, Utah hosts Cal, and it will be about watching the bars and beam lineups for how they survive without Lothrop. There is a bit of rebuilding that has to come, but they can’t start from scratch again like that very first bars rotation. It’s now easy to write Utah out of the Super Six script, so the Utes have something to prove at this meet. The weekend will finish with UCLA hosting a quad meet on Sunday, which they will attempt to run in the manner Utah did with no simultaneous routines. It’s going to be a long meet. I hope no one is offended if I take a blogging break during the Sac State and UC Davis routines.
Top 25 Schedule
Friday – 2/8/2013
7:00 ET/4:00 PT –  Alabama @  Florida
7:00 ET/4:00 PT –  Michigan @  Ohio State
7:00 ET/4:00 PT –  Georgia @  Kentucky
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – NC State, New Hampshire, Towson @  Maryland
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Northern Illinois @  Central Michigan
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Rutgers @  Kent State
7:30 ET/4:30 PT –  LSU @ Missouri
8:00 ET/5:00 PT –  Oklahoma @ Iowa State
8:00 ET/5:00 PT –  Arkansas @  Auburn
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – IGI Chicago Style ( Arizona, Pittsburgh, Illinois State, Texas Women’s)
9:00 ET/6:00 PT –  Denver @ Southern Utah
9:00 ET/6:00 PT –  Oregon State @ Arizona State
Saturday – 2/9/2013
5:00 ET/2:00 PT –  Illinois @  Minnesota
9:00 ET/6:00 PT –  California @  Utah
Sunday – 2/10/2013
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Penn State @  Nebraska
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – SEMO @  Boise State
5:00 ET/2:00 PT –  Washington, Sacramento State, UC Davis @  UCLA