It’s almost here, people. Only 3.5 short months away. That’s a cup of coffee, really. A cat nap. It’s time to start emotionally preparing and deciding how many regrets you’re going to have this year. I’m going for maybe something like four. That seems safe.
[ELITE TANGENT] I’m feeling particularly NCAA antsy because we’re still over a week away from Worlds, which is forever. Still, the updated women’s roster was released today. It’s so pitiful. I’m betting right now that the cutoff score for the AA final is lower than the junior qualifying score to US Nationals (51.500). Too harsh? At this rate . . . honestly, the Australians who aren’t even going are still in medal contention. Silver lining: an attending Icelander has the last name Odinsdottir. That’s awesome. If I were a dottir, I would be taking that name as my own instantly. [/ELITE TANGENT]
But for now, enough NCAA teams have finally released their 2014 schedules that I can put together a composite schedule that is beginning to verge on reliable. We’re still waiting on a Tardy Timothy or two to release their schedules (I’m referring to you, Nebraska), and Georgia is being total molasses in getting the meet times out, so keep that in mind. Otherwise, the schedule below should tell you what you need to know about the top teams’ seasons.
Oddly, the season is going to false start on the first weekend with only a couple teams competing, which is uncomfortable. It’s like during the Olympics when a few events begin before the opening ceremonies. It’s just wrong. The actual season won’t begin until the 10th of January.
Lots of Saturday meets this season, especially in the Pac-12 as dictated by the TV requirements of the Pac-12 Network. Fortunately for those of us who get the network, many more meets will be on TV this year. Fortunately for those who don’t, I’ll be my usual live blogging self during all of the good ones, awarding Amanda Borden’s hair a 9.825 and maybe talking about the actual gymnastics if there’s time. There are also way too many Monday meets for my liking. It’s like Stanford’s whole schedule.
As usual, the SEC teams have the most challenging schedules because of their conference requirements, and we’ll have all the usual mouth-watering match-ups. In particular, circle Alabama hosting Florida on February 28th. Oklahoma’s schedule also stands out because, well, look at those road meets. One is the Bart and Nadia Special (which is a home meet in everything but name), two others take place in the state of Texas, and another is in Florida. Those road scores are going to be flying for the Sooners all year long. Don’t be remotely surprised by a #1 Oklahoma team for a good chunk of the season.
So, here we go. Some time after Worlds, I’ll begin going through the teams and looking at the freshmen to see where they might contribute.
Week 0 – January 3-5
Sunday, January 5
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Penn State @ Iowa State 5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Stanford, San Jose State, UC Davis @ Sacramento State
Week 1 – January 10-12
Friday, January 10
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Penn State, West Virginia, Ball State @ Kentucky
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Illinois @ Michigan State 7:30 ET/4:30 PT – Michigan @ Iowa State
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Georgia @ Oklahoma
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Centenary @ LSU
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Western Michigan @ Arkansas
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Texas Woman’s @ Auburn
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – Missouri @ Alabama
Saturday, January 11
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Oregon State, Bowling Green @ Ohio State
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Arizona @ UIC
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Air Force, Lindenwood @ Minnesota