Week 10 Rankings and Notes

Just one week of the regular season remaining. Can you deal with that? I can’t.

1. Oklahoma – 197.570
Week 10 A: 197.875
Week 10 A leaders: AA – Spears 39.600; VT – Kanewa 9.950; UB – Kmieciak 9.925; BB – Kmieciak, Spears 9.900; FX – Spears, Scaman 9.950
Week 10 B: 197.525
Week 10 B leaders: AA – Spears 38.950; VT – Scaman 9.925; UB – Olson 9.975; BB – Spears 9.925; FX – Scaman 9.925

With 197.570, Oklahoma now boasts the highest team RQS since UCLA’s 198.055 at the end of the 2004 season. Next week against Alabama will be the Sooner’s first legitimate road test in months. Watch for how the vaults (especially stuck vaults) are evaluated for both teams. Proving competitive on vault with a team like Alabama would be a significant hurdle passed. Of note, the Sooners have seen a fall on beam in four of the last five meets (two from Olson, two from Alexander). None have counted.

2. Florida – 197.440
Week 10: Bye

The Gators’ off week rendered them a fairly comfortable stepping stone for the Sooners to #1. The two could switch once again next week since Florida still has an iffy road score that should be dropped with a strong performance at Utah. We all know that Florida has the late-lineup 9.950s to beat any team in the country, but watch the first two positions on each event. Even when achieving the 198.425, half of Florida’s 1st and 2nd routines scored under 9.850. The Gators need to make sure they’re not settling for worse than their team potential in the early positions.

3. Michigan – 197.175
Week 10: 197.550
Week 10 leaders: AA – Sampson 39.575; VT – Beilstein, Sampson 9.925; UB – Sugiyama 9.950; BB – Casanova, Martinez, Miele 9.800; FX – Sampson 9.950

Last weekend was a major step for the Wolverines, not only because they beat a top team but because they showed strong proficiency in landings on all events. The season is moving into the time of sticks, where that alone seems to make the difference in meets, and from the bits and pieces shown during the broadcast, this team looks postseason ready and looks like a serious-to-likely contender to make Super Six. If they don’t make it to the final day, it will be because of beam.   

4. Alabama – 197.125
Week 10: 197.725
Week 10 leaders: AA – None; VT – Williams 9.975; UB – Priess 9.925; BB – Priess 9.950; FX – Jacob 9.950

Alabama went down Louisiana way and recorded the highest road score seen yet this season. Even though they had the fall from DeMeo on beam, beam and floor seem to be in strong shape, especially with Gutierrez sounding more likely to return and beef up floor. Vault scored very well, but the landings still need a little work in the coming weeks. It’s a broken record, but if it weren’t for bars, this team would be a definite challenger for the championship. That Priess hit her dismount is a big deal (watch for it this weekend), but those missed handstands in the middle of the lineup are rotation killers. I’m very excited to see how this team matches up with Oklahoma. They’ll need to bring the landings.  

5. LSU – 197.055
Week 10: 197.500
Week 10 leaders: AA – Courville 39.600; VT – Dickson, Lau, Morrison, Courville 9.925; UB – Courville, Wyrick, Morrison 9.925; BB – Jordan 9.875; FX – Hall 10.000

The Tigers keep plugging away with these 197s. An oddly weak start to the floor rotation last weekend ended up being erased by Hall’s 10, but I would be surprised if any struggles there continued. Watch for the health of Dickson, who had to be removed from beam and floor after an awkward bars fall. LSU is not exactly swimming in depth, especially on bars, so that could be a problem if Dickson is sidelined for any period. While the Tigers have enjoyed the friendly confines for the last few weeks, the way those bars routines are evaluated next week on the road will be telling going into SECs. 

6. Georgia – 196.985
Week 10: 197.650
Week 10 leaders: AA – Rogers 39.575; VT – Rogers, Cheek 9.950; UB – Davis 9.950; BB – Worley, Rogers, Earls, Cheek 9.875; FX – Worley 9.950

The Gymdogs had a nice little senior night for themselves, and in the process managed to jump up to #6 in the country. Particularly encouraging was the vault rotation, where the quality of landings jumped up a bit from previous weeks. I’m not ready to declare this team out of the woods on beam and floor, especially if Noel Couch can’t come back at all. Breazeal has come in on beam, but Georgia doesn’t really have a great sixth option there. That rotation will never not be terrifying. I had the same concerns about floor, but Rogers hit well enough (not 9.900 well, but well) for that event to receive a one week hold on squinting. 

7. Utah – 196.940
Week 10: 196.975
Week 10 leaders: AA – Dabritz 39.350; VT – Wilson 9.950; UB – Dabritz, Damianova 9.900; BB – Lofgren 9.900; FX – Tutka 9.900

Utah stage one is complete. The Utes have hit six-for-six on both bars and beam. Now, let’s start cultivating slightly higher expectations. A bunch of 9.7s littered the scoreboard for them at a meet where the scoring wasn’t particularly tough, and those floor landings left much to be desired. Floor probably won’t be an issue at home, but pay attention to the scores they receive on bars going right after Florida. The judges will have the opportunity to make a clear comparison. Dabritz did hit beam after moving to the anchor position, so well done, but it was terrifying. She needs to move up another level next week.

8. UCLA – 196.905
Week 10: 197.075
Week 10 leaders: AA – Zamarripa, Courtney 39.400; VT – Zamarripa, Courtney 9.950; UB – De La Torre 9.925; BB – Francis 9.850; FX – Pritchett 9.950

The most frustrating thing about the Bruins this season is how good they could have been when completely healthy. Losing Larson is likely one blow too many, and while the other teams in the nation are focused on polishing and sticking, UCLA is still trying to get the right people back into competition. De La Torre came back well on bars, so UCLA really only missed Larson for beam and what could have been on vault. Touches of championships gymnastics pop up here and there (which are keeping them in the top 10), but this team will show some 9.775-9.800s as well. Zamarripa has to pull it back together and get rid of her 9.8s if this team is to be better than #8.

9. Oregon State – 196.790
Week 10: 197.275
Week 10 leaders: AA – Stambaugh 39.600; VT – Blalock 9.950; UB – Stambaigh 9.925; BB – Jones, Tang 9.900; FX – Stambaugh 9.925

Makayla Stambaugh has been crowned the queen of Oregon at this point, and by reaching this current level, the team has already outperformed expectations. The Beavers’ regular season is over, so they will focus now on hosting Pac-12s. While I would not rate this team as a favorite to win, the home advantage could tip things since all of the Pac-12 teams have weaknesses, and none of them are as strong as they were last year. I’m surprised vault has been such a scoring strength for Oregon State this year, but one of the other concerns, scoring potential and depth on floor, is still a spot of bother.

10. Stanford – 196.590
Week 10: 196.000
Week 10 leaders: AA – A Morgan 39.325; VT – Dayton 9.900; UB – Hong 9.875; BB – Hong 9.875; FX – A Morgan 9.900

Like Oregon State, Stanford’s team has already finished its always-paltry regular season and will be preparing for Pac-12s. The 196.000 wasn’t a great note on which to end this portion of the season, and Stanford’s twitter had to be scrubbed of commentary on the state of the scoring. (If I had to do that, this blog would be blank.) Of more concern than minor scoring issues, however, were the falls and 9.6s. You don’t get those for hit routines regardless of the harshness of the panel. If Stanford gets those out of town and transforms Vaculik into someone consistent, they will contend for the conference title.  

11. Nebraska – 196.565
12. Auburn – 196.510
13. Denver – 196.340
14. Minnesota – 196.250
15. Arkansas – 196.090
16. Penn State – 196.085
17. Illinois – 196.030
18. Arizona – 195.960
19. Kentucky – 195.860
20. Ohio State – 195.815
21. West Virginia – 195.780
22. Kent State – 195.755
23. Boise State – 195.665
24. Central Michigan – 195.620
25. Iowa – 195.600
26. Maryland – 195.580
27. Washington – 195.520
28. Arizona State – 195.450
29. BYU – 195.320
30. North Carolina – 195.200
31. California – 195.140
32. NC State – 195.125
33. Southern Utah – 195.090
34. Pittsburgh – 195.040
35. Bridgeport – 194.895
36. Iowa State – 194.855
————————— [Regionals cutoff]
37. Rutgers – 194.685
38. Michigan State – 194.585
39. George Washington – 194.540
40. New Hampshire – 194.535
41. San Jose State – 194.465
42. Missouri – 194.425

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