RQS Progress

It’s coming. Whether you’re ready or not, the annual nightmare that is RQS is coming. On February 24th, RQS will take over from season average in determining the rankings, so now is a good time to check out where teams stand and what they still need to do to achieve a worthwhile RQS.

The rules: RQS (Regional Qualifying Score) is used to determine which 36 teams advance to the Regional Championships. It is calculated by taking a team’s six highest scores on the year, of which at least three must be road scores, dropping the highest score, and averaging the remaining five.  

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you may know that I have a love/hate relationship with RQS. I love the fact that it involves calculations and spreadsheets, but I hate the fact that it imposes an artificially small sample size on the rankings in a sport that already has a small sample size of meets to begin with. It throws out a majority of the data points and shouts, “Do-over!” on most of the routines during the year so that there are few repercussions for top teams having bad meets.

1. Florida (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 197.175
Road Score 2: 197.075
Road Score 3: 196.650
Road/Home Score 1: 198.050
Road/Home Score 2: 197.875
Road/Home Score 3: X

Florida is in a perfectly solid position for RQS and will end the season with a large number, but for a team looking to finish the year in the top spot, those road scores are not devastatingly amazing. The Gators are currently trailing both Oklahoma and LSU in the road race, so even though having a counting 197.875 home score is an asset, Florida will probably need to put up a couple mid-197s in the remaining three road meets to feel comfortable in maintaining that #1 spot. The Gators will not have a chance to bounce that road 196 until the meet in Alabama on the 28th, which is after RQS kicks in, so don’t be surprised if the Gators drop a couple ranking places in the first week of RQS from where they are now.

2. Oklahoma (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 197.575
Road Score 2: 197.225
Road Score 3: X
Road/Home Score 1: 197.700
Road/Home Score 2: 197.325
Road/Home Score 3: 196.675

While currently ranked lower, Oklahoma is in a nearly identical RQS position to Florida with their stronger road numbers balancing out Florida’s stronger home numbers. Over the next two weeks, Oklahoma has Metroplex and then the “road meet that’s not a road meet” in Oklahoma City, which is a very advantageous position for extending the road advantage over Florida and settling into a comfortable mid-197 RQS with a whole month of the season remaining.

3. LSU (Current RQS: 197.225)
Road Score 1: 197.650
Road Score 2: 197.225
Road Score 3: 196.875
Road/Home Score 1: 197.650
Road/Home Score 2: 197.200
Road/Home Score 3: 197.175

Kick back and relax, LSU, because 197.225 is already an excellent RQS. Based on precedent and the scores currently being recorded, it shouldn’t take all that much more to secure a top 6 ranking and a #1 Regionals seed. There are no clunkers in this group of scores already, and they’ll have a chance to go straight 197s across the board after Metroplex this weekend. The Tigers’ only wish will be that RQS kicked in this coming Monday instead of the next week, because they may very well finish this weekend with the #1 RQS given the 196.6s that Florida and Oklahoma will still be hanging onto.

4. Utah (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 197.200
Road Score 2: 196.875
Road Score 3: X
Road/Home Score 1: 197.825
Road/Home Score 2: 197.125
Road/Home Score 3: 196.650

While the Utes are mostly keeping pace with the current top 3 in the season average department, they won’t be able to count that big home 197 for the time being, so they’re going to need a couple more scores in the mid-197 family to keep within striking distance. They’ve got a nice edge over the teams below right now, but a high road score at Stanford this weekend would help them become part of the lead pack instead of the leader of the second pack.

5. Alabama (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 196.825
Road Score 2: 196.050
Road Score 3: X
Road/Home Score 1: 197.500
Road/Home Score 2: 197.150
Road/Home Score 3: 197.125

The meet last weekend was a good sign of Alabama rounding into form, but there’s still a bit of road work to do in the RQS department with just three road meets left on the schedule. Two of those road meets are the next two weeks, so the Tide will need a strong counting score from at least one of those meets and maybe both to consider moving up because it doesn’t appear that Florida, Oklahoma, or LSU will end up having any 196s in their RQS picture when we get down to the end of the year.

6. Georgia (Current RQS: 196.900)
Road Score 1: 196.825
Road Score 2: 196.700
Road Score 3: 196.500
Road/Home Score 1: 197.400
Road/Home Score 2: 197.300
Road/Home Score 3: 197.175
  
With all those packed weekends early in the season, Georgia already has the luxury of more scores than needed and is already dropping a 196.3 from the first weekend. This is particularly helpful because this weekend’s clash against Missouri has been cancelled, so the Gym Dogs just lost one of their opportunities to bump up their RQS. They’ll need to step up some of these road scores to remain in the picture for a #1 Regionals seed, but there’s not anything disastrous hanging around threatening to be counted. The current 196.900 is a very strong number for February.

7. Nebraska (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 197.225
Road Score 2: 196.450
Road Score 3: 196.250
Road/Home Score 1: 196.975
Road/Home Score 2: 196.625
Road/Home Score 3: X

The Nebraska Huskers have an important clash with Michigan this weekend that will round out their RQS crop for the moment. They need to get rid of a couple of these mid 196s at some point, but they should still debut with a comfortable score. Currently, there is a break between the top six teams and everyone else in the amount of 197s recorded, which is something to keep an eye on. The Huskers currently have no 197s counting for RQS, so they’ll need a couple more of them in the next few weeks to jump anywhere higher than the current spot.

8. Michigan (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 196.800
Road Score 2: 196.525
Road Score 3: 195.800
Road/Home Score 1: 197.325
Road/Home Score 2: 196.800
Road/Home Score 3: X

Obviously, the big issue for Michigan is that 195 from over the weekend, which cannot be allowed to stay and, we can assume, will be evicted from the picture soon, leaving a much more respectable number than the current landscape would indicate. The two road meets over the next two weeks will be critical in deciding just how high the Wolverines can climb. If they’re still getting mid-196s at these coming road meets, they’ll be stuck with them and won’t be able to attack the top spots.

9. UCLA (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 196.575
Road Score 2: 195.875
Road Score 3: X
Road/Home Score 1: 196.925
Road/Home Score 2: 196.625
Road/Home Score 3: 196.425

UCLA hasn’t had that big breakthrough number yet, and with six more meets in the season, it’s likely that at least several of these current scores will have to be counted, which places a relatively low ceiling on how high UCLA can go. There’s absolutely no more margin for another bad meet, especially on the road this weekend in Washington, because they don’t have the luxury of big scores already in the bank. They’re going to want to count everything left.

10. Stanford (Current RQS: 195.930)
Road Score 1: 196.825
Road Score 2: 195.750
Road Score 3: 194.825
Road/Home Score 1: 197.275
Road/Home Score 2: 196.325
Road/Home Score 3: 195.925

Stanford is often in a tough position for RQS because historically they have fewer meets during the regular season than the other teams. The situation is a bit better this year with still five meets remaining, but they will need to count at least four of those remaining five scores if they are going to be safe as a #2 seed at a Regional. There are too many teams below that can catch them to have any of these 195s around. Stanford is another team with no margin left for bad meets. Ideally, only the 197.275 and 196.825 would be kept. 

11. Arkansas (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 196.275
Road Score 2: 196.050
Road Score 3: X
Road/Home Score 1: 196.275
Road/Home Score 2: 196.200
Road/Home Score 3: 196.100

12. Auburn (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 196.850
Road Score 2: 196.550
Road Score 3: 195.950
Road/Home Score 1: 196.225
Road/Home Score 2: 194.875
Road/Home Score 3: X

13. Oregon State (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 195.625
Road Score 2: 195.200
Road Score 3: X
Road/Home Score 1: 197.100
Road/Home Score 2: 196.425
Road/Home Score 3: X

14. Minnesota (Current RQS: 195.720)
Road Score 1: 196.350
Road Score 2: 196.025
Road Score 3: 196.025
Road/Home Score 1: 196.225
Road/Home Score 2: 196.025
Road/Home Score 3: 194.425

15. Illinois (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 195.350
Road Score 2: 195.325
Road Score 3: X
Road/Home Score 1: 196.475
Road/Home Score 2: 196.175
Road/Home Score 3: 195.575

16. Boise State (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 196.325
Road Score 2: 195.850
Road Score 3: 195.250
Road/Home Score 1: 196.025
Road/Home Score 2: 195.150
Road/Home Score 3: X

17. Arizona (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 195.850
Road Score 2: 194.750
Road Score 3: 194.425
Road/Home Score 1: 196.925
Road/Home Score 2: 196.500
Road/Home Score 3:

18. Denver (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 196.550
Road Score 2: 194.825
Road Score 3: X
Road/Home Score 1: 196.050
Road/Home Score 2: 195.800
Road/Home Score 3: 195.200

19. Central Michigan (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 196.500
Road Score 2: 195.925
Road Score 3: X
Road/Home Score 1: 196.600
Road/Home Score 2: 195.800
Road/Home Score 3: 194.800

20. Ohio State (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 195.200
Road Score 2: X
Road Score 3: X
Road/Home Score 1: 195.900
Road/Home Score 2: 195.625
Road/Home Score 3: 194.775

21. Penn State (Current RQS: 194.980)
Road Score 1: 196.150
Road Score 2: 194.825
Road Score 3: 193.975
Road/Home Score 1: 196.150
Road/Home Score 2: 194.825
Road/Home Score 3: 193.925

22. Arizona State (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 195.900
Road Score 2: 194.950
Road Score 3: X
Road/Home Score 1: 196.000
Road/Home Score 2: 194.900
Road/Home Score 3: 193.625

23. Washington (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 195.175
Road Score 2: 193.925
Road Score 3: X
Road/Home Score 1: 196.200
Road/Home Score 2: 195.025
Road/Home Score 3: 194.825

24. California (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 195.350
Road Score 2: 194.650
Road Score 3: 193.225
Road/Home Score 1: 196.275
Road/Home Score 2: 195.550
Road/Home Score 3: X

25. Kent State (Current RQS: X)
Road Score 1: 194.725
Road Score 2: 194.025
Road Score 3: X
Road/Home Score 1: 195.675
Road/Home Score 2: 195.400
Road/Home Score 3: 194.475

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One thought on “RQS Progress”

  1. If Arkansas and Auburn get another 196 they should be able to go ahead of Stanford in the ranks easily. Stanford has a 194 and two 195s, where as Arkansas only has low 196s and although Auburn has a 194 and 195, they look to be in better position than Stanford. Can't wait for the weekend:)

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