Regionals Outlook and RQS Update

There is a lot of text coming up, so I have included this unrelated image of Vanessa Zamarripa hitting a handstand to put you in a comfortable place.

While the official distribution of Regional Championships assignments is still a month away, now that RQS is in effect, we begin to see a fairly reliable image of how those Regionals might look. At Regionals, the seeds are distributed in the following ridiculous way:

Regional 1: Seeds 1, 12, 13
Regional 2: Seeds 2, 11, 14
Regional 3: Seeds 3, 10, 15
Regional 4: Seeds 4, 9, 16
Regional 5: Seeds 5, 8, 17
Regional 6: Seeds 6, 7, 18

Because the goal is to finish in the top 2 at Regionals, the top seed ends up with the most difficult job, having to outscore the #13 team, while the #6 and #7 teams must merely outscore the #18 team. This increases the likelihood of top seed upsets but hardly provides much incentive to be the #1 team. This year, however, the seeding might actually work out in the most interesting way because of the hosting situation, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

These seeding assignments remain intact unless there is a hosting contradiction where two hosts would end up placed in the same Regional (obviously impossible), in which case the distribution is adjusted slightly. This year’s hosts are as follows: Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, Oregon State, West Virginia, and Ohio State.

Oklahoma, Florida, and Alabama are going to be the top seeds at their Regionals, and while there is still room for change, right now Nebraska, Auburn, and Stanford would be the second-seeded teams in each of those meets (because Oregon State is also a host). Even though it might appear that no second-seeded team would want to be placed in those Regionals since the hosts are going to get huge scores, I would take that placement in a second. If I’m Nebraska, Auburn, or Stanford, I know I don’t have a great chance of beating that top host seed, but I also know that I’ll be on a level playing field with the closest competitor (the likes of Denver, Minnesota, and Arizona right now) and in quite strong shape to advance.

A much more dangerous Regionals placement is with a third-seed or lower-seed host, which we should see in both the West Virginia and Ohio State Regionals. The most likely scenario right now is that the 5,8 and 6,7 teams will go into these Regionals. Many times in the past, we have seen a third seed get a little home bump and make life very difficult for the top two seeds, and both Ohio State and West Virginia have shown the capability of receiving those home scores in the mid 196s (and we all remember that 197 home score for Ohio State last year), which provides less room for error for those higher seeds. When Georgia missed Championships in 2010, we forget that the Gymdogs didn’t count a fall at Regionals. They were off and missing key competitors, but that happens to many teams that advance easily. I would argue it was ultimately the home advantage of third-seed Missouri that pushed Georgia into the tiebreak with Oregon State and eventually out. Right now, LSU, UCLA, Georgia, and Utah would be the teams in that precarious situation this year.

Host Oregon State looks to end up ranked somewhere in that 9-12 area (they could move up, yes, but I don’t like some of these counting road scores), meaning it’s quite likely that the top-ranked team who is not Oklahoma, Florida, and Alabama will go to that Oregon State Regional. That spot currently belongs to Michigan, but it should be sought-after because I would much rather face a second-seed as host than a third-seed as host. With the second-seed host, you are both seeded to advance. LSU and UCLA will be fighting Michigan for that spot in the coming weeks. 

Even though a team never likes to fall in the rankings, If I’m Utah, I would be almost OK with going down a peg and ending up in Alabama’s Regional. I’d much rather be tasked with beating an away Arizona than beating a home Ohio State. This whole interplay will be fun to watch in the coming weeks.

These things will change week-to-week, but this is where we stand now based on current RQS. Speaking of which . . .

Now that the teams have few meets remaining, I have bolded the scores that are guaranteed to remain part of the RQS picture and will not be dropped.

1. Oklahoma (Current RQS: 197.410)
Road Score 1: 197.625
Road Score 2: 197.450
Road Score 3: 197.375
Road/Home Score 1: 198.375
Road/Home Score 2: 197.325
Road/Home Score 3: 197.275

Oklahoma needs a 197.475 at Texas Women’s this weekend to reach the highest RQS recorded since 2004.

2. Florida (Current RQS: 197.280)
Road Score 1: 197.575
Road Score 2: 197.300
Road Score 3: 196.575
Road/Home Score 1: 198.100
Road Home Score 2: 197.650
Road/Home Score 3: 197.300

The Gators are at home again this weekend, so they would need a 197.975 to pass Oklahoma if Oklahoma does not increase at all. Oklahoma would guaranteed to retain #1 with that 197.475. Florida won’t have a good look at passing the Sooners until the next road meet (March 16th at Utah).

3. Michigan (Current RQS: 196.975)
Road Score 1: 196.925
Road Score 2: 196.925
Road Score 3: 196.775
Road/Home Score 1: 197.375
Road/Home Score 2: 197.350
Road/Home Score 3: 196.900

4. Alabama (Current RQS: 196.810)
Road Score 1: 197.100
Road Score 2: 196.950
Road Score 3: 196.850
Road/Home Score 1: 197.650
Road/Home Score 2: 196.575
Road/Home Score 3: 196.575

5. LSU (Current RQS: 196.770)
Road Score 1: 197.275
Road Score 2: 197.100
Road Score 3: 196.975
Road/Home Score 1: 196.875
Road/Home Score 2: 196.825
Road/Home Score 3: 196.075

6. UCLA (Current RQS: 196.720)
Road Score 1: 197.200
Road Score 2: 196.925
Road Score 3: 196.375
Road/Home Score 1: 197.425
Road/Home Score 2: 196.950
Road/Home Score 3: 196.150

7. Georgia (Current RQS: 196.595)
Road Score 1: 196.825
Road Score 2: 196.775
Road Score 3: 196.200
Road/Home Score 1: 197.500
Road/Home Score 2: 197.000
Road/Home Score 3: 196.175

8. Utah (Current RQS: 196.375)
Road Score 1: 196.600
Road Score 2: 195.975
Road Score 3: 195.300
Road/Home Score 1: 197.300
Road/Home Score 2: 197.050
Road/Home Score 3: 196.950

9. Oregon State (Current RQS: 196.370)
Road Score 1: 196.825
Road Score 2: 196.300
Road Score 3: 196.050
Road/Home Score 1: 196.925
Road/Home Score 2: 196.725
Road/Home Score 3: 195.950

10. Nebraska (Current RQS: 196.365)
Road Score 1: 196.300
Road Score 2: 196.150
Road Score 3: 195.625
Road/Home Score 1: 197.175
Road/Home Score 2: 197.050
Road/Home Score 3: 196.700

11. Auburn (Current RQS: 196.270)
Road Score 1: 196.725
Road Score 2: 196.575
Road Score 3: 196.025
Road/Home Score 1: 197.175
Road/Home Score 2: 196.325
Road/Home Score 3: 195.700

12. Stanford (Current RQS: 196.235)
Road Score 1: 197.075
Road Score 2: 196.450
Road Score 3: 196.025
Road/Home Score 1: 197.275
Road/Home Score 2: 196.200
Road/Home Score 3: 195.425

13. Denver (Current RQS: 195.990)
Road Score 1: 196.400
Road Score 2: 195.850
Road Score 3: 195.850
Road/Home Score 1: 196.600
Road/Home Score 2: 196.050
Road/Home Score 3: 195.800

14. Minnesota (Current RQS: 195.775)
Road Score 1: 195.550
Road Score 2: 195.525
Road Score 3: 195.025
Road/Home Score 1: 196.800
Road/Home Score 2: 196.775
Road/Home Score 3: 196.000

15. Arizona (Current RQS: 195.640)
Road Score 1: 195.950
Road Score 2: 195.800
Road Score 3: 195.200
Road/Home Score 1: 196.075
Road/Home Score 2: 195.850
Road/Home Score 3: 195.400

16. West Virginia (Current RQS: 195.560)
Road Score 1: 195.775
Road Score 2: 195.150
Road Score 3: 194.675
Road/Home Score 1: 196.550
Road/Home Score 2: 196.150
Road/Home Score 3: 196.050

17. Washington (Current RQS: 195.520)
Road Score 1: 196.000
Road Score 2: 195.950
Road Score 3: 194.875
Road/Home Score 1: 196.025
Road/Home Score 2: 195.975
Road/Home Score 3: 194.800

18. Ohio State (Current RQS: 195.495)
Road Score 1: 195.575
Road Score 2: 195.000
Road Score 3: 194.675
Road/Home Score 1: 196.300
Road/Home Score 2: 196.250
Road/Home Score 3: 195.975

19. Illinois (Current RQS: 195.480)
Road Score 1: 196.350
Road Score 2: 195.450
Road Score 3: 195.100
Road/Home Score 1: 196.125
Road/Home Score 2: 195.975
Road/Home Score 3: 194.750

19. Kent State (Current RQS: 195.480)
Road Score 1: 195.800
Road Score 2: 195.800
Road Score 3: 195.450
Road/Home Score 1: 196.050
Road/Home Score 2: 195.675
Road/Home Score 3: 194.675

21. Kentucky (Current RQS: 195.445)
Road Score 1: 196.075
Road Score 2: 195.525
Road Score 3: 195.125
Road/Home Score 1: 195.825
Road/Home Score 2: 195.500
Road/Home Score 3: 195.250

22. Penn State (Current RQS: 195.415)
Road Score 1: 196.700
Road Score 2: 195.150
Road Score 3: 194.150
Road/Home Score 1: 196.700
Road/Home Score 2: 195.575
Road/Home Score 3: 195.500

23. Maryland (Current RQS: 195.340)
Road Score 1: 195.975
Road Score 2: 195.000
Road Score 3: 194.825
Road/Home Score 1: 196.175
Road/Home Score 2: 195.600
Road/Home Score 3: 195.300

24. Iowa (Current RQS: 195.265)
Road Score 1: 195.875
Road Score 2: 195.325
Road Score 3: 195.200
Road/Home Score 1: 195.875
Road/Home Score 2: 195.725
Road/Home Score 3: 194.200

25. Arkansas (Current RQS: 195.260)
Road Score 1: 195.650
Road Score 2: 195.625
Road Score 3: 193.075
Road/Home Score 1: 197.100
Road/Home Score 2: 196.175
Road/Home Score 3: 195.775

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