Week 9 Rankings and RQS Update

We added four new 10s to the family this weekend with Hunter, Scaman, and Dabritz on floor and Milliner on vault. Hunter and Scaman have received 10s on floor already this year, and Milliner got a 10 on vault in 2012, so Dabritz’s floor is the one new entrant to the pantheon.
This season, we’ve had 10 scores of 10.000 on floor, compared to 3 in 2013, 0 in 2012, 0 in 2011, and 0 in 2010. It’s a different season.

Honestly, where would you rank this among her floor routines for the year? Sixth best? Sometimes, a 10 ends up being an accumulation thing (which is not to endorse it, but to acknowledge it), kind of like a career Oscar.

Week 9 Rankings – (GymInfo)
1. LSU – 197.660
Week 9: 197.500
Week 9 leaders: AA – Courville 39.500; VT – Courville, Hall 9.925; UB – Courville, Morrison 9.900; BB – Jordan 9.975; FX – Hall 9.950

Road Score 1: 197.875
Road Score 2: 197.650
Road Score 3: 197.625
Road/Home Score 1: 198.050
Road/Home Score 2: 197.650
Road/Home Score 3: 197.500

LSU’s 197.500 is not a high score compared to what they have been receiving lately (it is, in fact, the team’s lowest score in a month), but it did end up being enough to fend off Oklahoma’s Sunday surge, at least for the moment. The most important thing about LSU’s performance this season is that they have yet to receive a score under 49 on beam (compared to six beam scores under 49 last year) and the 9.975 from Jordan and 9.950 from Gnat this weekend underline that. They can get a solid beam score even without Courville carrying the load.

The #1 ranking is in a fairly large amount of danger this weekend since LSU no longer has that low-ish score they’re trying to get rid of in the way that Florida does. There’s not a lot of room to improve their RQS. Even with a season-high this weekend, they would max out at 197.770, while both Oklahoma and Florida can theoretically get into the 197.8s – though it would take colossal scores to do so. I still have to adjust my thinking on what constitutes an attainable score. Usually, when seeing that a team would need a 198 to move up, I’d dismiss it, but of course all three of these teams could score 198 this weekend and it wouldn’t be surprising.

2. Oklahoma – 197.640
Week 9 A: 197.450
Week 9 A leaders: AA – None; VT – Kanewa 9.900; UB – Scaman 9.975; BB – Spears 9.975; FX – Scaman 10.000

Week 9 B: 198.150
Week 9 B leaders: AA – None; VT – Kanewa, Scaman 9.950; UB – Spears 9.975; BB – Capps 9.925; FX – Scaman, Kanewa 9.950

Road Score 1: 198.175
Road Score 2: 198.150
Road Score 3: 197.575
Road/Home Score 1: 197.700
Road/Home Score 2: 197.450
Road/Home Score 3: 197.325

The Sooners very nearly sneaked into #1 after a big 198.150 on Sunday, marking their return to the land of the big scores (especially on bars) after a vacation of several weeks. The improvement in scoring potential on vault and floor has been vital this year in ensuring Oklahoma can realistically win a national championship (they’re now ranked #1 on floor, which I wouldn’t have called), but that doesn’t mean as much without the usual bars and beam dominance to go with it. The Sooners can be the best team on both those events, and when we come down to Super Six, I think they’ll need to be to take the title. 

Even though Oklahoma didn’t quite get to the top spot, LSU’s lead has all but disappeared, and it’s going to be an excellent fight this weekend, as well as during conference championships, to see who ends up on top. The Sooners’ biggest RQS asset is having the best road scores in the country, and with a 197.325 to get rid of, they currently find themselves in the driver’s seat over LSU and can move ahead with a stronger score this weekend. 

3. Florida – 197.565
Week 9: 198.325
Week 9 leaders: AA – Johnson 39.825; VT – Johnson 9.950; UB – Johnson 9.975; BB – Sloan 9.975; FX – Hunter 10.000

Road Score 1: 197.400
Road Score 2: 197.175
Road Score 3: 197.075
Road/Home Score 1: 198.325
Road/Home Score 2: 198.125
Road/Home Score 3: 198.050

The Gators find themselves the victims of their road scores once again, recording a nation-high 198.325–including Alaina Johnson’s earthshaking 39.825 in the AA–and still falling in the rankings. With a home 197.875 dropping off, there was very little room for them to improve. Those home scores are unassailable, but the road scores are fairly pedestrian for a top 10 team this season. That said, I don’t buy the “Florida can’t score well on the road” chatter that seems to crop up this time of year and is reliably making an appearance again. They can and will score well on the road; they just haven’t done it much yet. This weekend in Missouri, if we’re talking about whether Florida will go closer to 197 or closer to 198, I’ll take the closer to 198 side of that action.

With two road meets remaining in the next two weeks, Florida is in a prime position to move up, if not this week, then after SECs. We’re in a strange situation this season where a score like 197.500 is just average for these top three teams, but if Florida were to score that this weekend, they would be right in the pack with LSU and Oklahoma’s current RQSs again. Being in 3rd, they will still be at the mercy of what LSU and Oklahoma score this weekend, but they have the most room for improvement and can potentially move all the way up to #1 depending on the others.  

4. Alabama – 197.320
Week 9: 198.250
Week 9 leaders: AA – None; VT – Milliner 10.000; UB – Clark 9.950; BB – Clark 9.950; FX – Beers, Jetter 9.950

Road Score 1: 197.500
Road Score 2: 197.100
Road Score 3: 196.825
Road/Home Score 1: 198.250
Road/Home Score 2: 197.675
Road/Home Score 3: 197.500

Alabama is no longer being left out of the humongous score club, and over the last five meets, the team has an average of 197.605, which is within a reasonable margin with what the top three teams have been doing. The difference between them is lessening, and while we can argue the scoring from the weekend (you can always argue a 198, and the argument is usually valid), this most recent meet was a stellar performance across four events with Super Six-quality landings throughout. Those Alabama landings. In a year with high scores, the landings are that much more important, because sometimes they’re the only thing being judged. Now let’s see if they can keep it up for another week. 

Staying at home this weekend, there’s no chance that the Tide can make a run at the #3 spot. Unless they finish the year with straight 198s – again, possible – and get a little help from the teams above, 4th looks like the spot they’ll keep. They’re in a fairly similar situation to Florida in that a couple of normal road scores are bringing them down, just without as many home 198s as Florida has. 

5. Utah – 197.225
Week 9: 197.350
Week 9 leaders: AA – Wilson 38.950; VT – Delaney 9.925; UB – Dabritz 9.950; BB – Lothrop 9.875; FX – Dabritz 10.000

Road Score 1: 197.350
Road Score 2: 197.200
Road Score 3: 196.875
Road/Home Score 1: 197.825
Road/Home Score 2: 197.575
Road/Home Score 3: 197.125

Utah’s face-off with Michigan and UCLA was a tremendous meet, very even and exciting throughout, and acted as a preview of what will make the upcoming postseason events so entertaining. We had multiple teams competing at a very similar level and battling it out rotation by rotation, routine by routine. Utah trailed for much of the meet, the result of a beam rotation that is still the biggest obstacle standing between them and a return to Super Six, but going into the final rotation, I still expected the Utes to pass UCLA given how well they have been scoring on vault. We didn’t see any of those vaults in the broadcast, and the Utes didn’t get by any means a bad vault score, but when you’re a three-event team, you can’t afford to drop off the pace even a little on one of those three events.

In spite of finishing third, the meet can still be considered a relative success for Utah since they managed their top road score of the season which, along with a low road score coming off, allowed them to move up significantly in RQS and return to #5. They’ll have a chance to pass Alabama this weekend, though they would need a pretty high 197 even to think about it. That sounds tough, but in a home showdown against Georgia, we can expect those kinds of scores. Remember, this is the exact spot in the schedule last year where we had that infamously scored showdown between Utah and Florida that caused all sorts of outrage. Teams scoring 198! People getting 10s without sticking! Unacceptable! We were so young and naive then.

6. Georgia – 197.020
Week 9: 197.025
Week 9 leaders: AA – Rogers 39.575; VT – Jay 9.975; UB – Cheek 9.975; BB – Earls 9.875; FX – Earls, Rogers 9.900

Road Score 1: 196.875
Road Score 2: 196.825
Road Score 3: 196.700
Road/Home Score 1: 197.650
Road/Home Score 2: 197.400
Road/Home Score 3: 197.300

Well, how quickly things can change. The Gym Dogs were well on their way to matching last weekend’s season-high 197.650, right up until the final pass of Brandie Jay’s floor routine when she tumbled on her double pike. In that one moment, they went from a statement score to a forgettable one. It was so sad listening to Kevin Copp. He was becoming so excited and loud during that final rotation as the 9.9s began to pop up, and then Jay fell, and it sounded like someone had taken his puppy away from him. Someone get Kevin Copp a puppy. But that’s all it takes. One pass to change the impression of a meet. Is Georgia a two-event team or a four-event team? Vault and bars are outstanding, but they still haven’t made a convincing argument on the other events.

The Lindsey Cheek 10 Watch was on full force in this meet, being senior day and all, but she took a step on her yfull this time, which deflated some of the excitement. Brandie Jay did get a 10 from one judge for her stuck y1.5, and Cheek also nearly got a 10 for her bars routine, in an attempt to make up for our collective disappointment. The Gym Dogs will not be able to pass Utah in the rankings this coming weekend after their head-to-head meet, but they can set themselves up well with a big score that gets rid of that 196.700. Besting that number is very attainable. 

7. UCLA – 196.920
Week 9: 197.475
Week 9 leaders: AA – Peszek 39.650; VT – Courtney 9.950; UB – DeJesus 9.925; BB – Peszek 9.925; FX – Peszek, Sawa 9.925

Road Score 1: 197.500
Road Score 2: 197.475
Road Score 3: 196.675
Road/Home Score 1: 196.925
Road/Home Score 2: 196.900
Road/Home Score 3: 196.625

It’s starting to come together. Another week, another strong score, and another spot gained in the rankings. It’s the UCLA way: make you scream for two months and then start to look OK. Every week they’re getting another piece back that makes it just a little bit easier to get these 197s. This week, Peszek returned in the AA, which was a breath of fresh air. They need her in all those lineups, being that reliable gymnast whom we take for granted getting a 9.900 every time she salutes.

I still have questions about the early parts of these rotations and whether, even in their fully put-together UCLA postseason shape, they are competitive with the teams the Bruins will be battling to make Super Six. They’ve added most of the pieces they have, but there are still some open, questionable patches. Who’s the third big scorer on these events? Is this the beam lineup, and are we OK with that emotionally and physically? UCLA will have a shot to keep up the trend of moving up a spot per week this next weekend, but only if Georgia underperforms against Utah. The Bruins have a 196.625 home score to drop, and if they maintain their recent road level while at home on senior day, we can expect a bigly big number.

8. Michigan – 196.900
Week 9: 197.825
Week 9 leaders: AA – Sampson 39.600; VT – Sheppard 9.975; UB – Sheppard, Sugiyama 9.900; BB – Casanova 9.950; FX – Artz, Beilstein, Sampson 9.950

Road Score 1: 196.800
Road Score 2: 196.650
Road Score 3: 196.525
Road/Home Score 1: 197.825

Road/Home Score 2: 197.325
Road/Home Score 3: 197.200

Like Florida, Michigan is another team thwarted by road scores. They posted their best number of the season by quite a margin in outperforming UCLA and Utah at home, but because it was a home score and they already had three solid home scores, they didn’t have much of room to advance. Winning and dropping ranking spots. Welcome to the NCAA. Regardless of falling in the rankings (and some of the scoring questions I have about the final two rotations), this was a big meet for the Wolverines, both in terms of the teams they beat and the performances they showed–a consistently clean and confident bars rotation and multiple strong beam routines existing together in the same meet. A triumph.

Michigan is at home this weekend, so they won’t have a chance to get rid of that straggling road 196.525 until Big Tens. Still, being so close to UCLA, they’ll have a chance to pass this weekend, but since UCLA has a 196.6 to drop compared to Michigan’s 197.2, UCLA is the more likely to increase RQS.

9. Nebraska – 196.710
Week 9: 196.350
Week 9 leaders: AA – Wong 39.625; VT – DeZiel 9.975; UB – Wong 9.950; BB – Wong 9.900; FX – Wong 9.900

Road Score 1: 197.225
Road Score 2: 196.650
Road Score 3: 196.450
Road/Home Score 1: 196.975
Road/Home Score 2: 196.850
Road/Home Score 3: 196.625

It was a prime opportunity for the Huskers to move up in their final home meet of the season, but while Emily Wong was herself throughout the meet and received aid from standout performances by at least a gymnast or two on each event, the team had all kinds of 9.6s and 9.7s sprinkled around bars, beam, and floor in what was a mini version of what happened to them at Regionals last year. A 196.350 does no good to a top-10 team at this point in the season. In the positive category, we did see the first glimpse of that thing Nebraska does where we all spend the season mostly forgetting how good they are on vault, and then they get to the postseason and start scoring 49.6s with those crazy-powerful blocks.  

With no mathematical chance to move up in the rankings this weekend (not getting that final big home score really hurt) and a fairly large advantage over the next team in action, we can expect Nebraska to stay still at #9 unless Auburn can muster something like a road 197 away at Alabama.

10. Stanford – 196.640
Week 9: 196.300
Week 9 leaders: AA – N McNair 38.725; VT – N McNair 9.925; UB – N McNair, Morgan 9.875; BB – N McNair, Spinner 9.875; FX – Rice 9.900

Road Score 1: 197.275
Road Score 2: 196.825
Road Score 3: 196.300
Road/Home Score 1: 197.000
Road/Home Score 2: 196.750
Road/Home Score 3: 196.325

Stanford is not competing this weekend, and with just one meet remaining, they needed a big score at Alabama that they didn’t get in order to drop one of those 196.3s. Now, it’s going to be quite difficult for them to make any kind of a rankings challenge, and they may be at the mercy of a couple of the lower-ranked teams, particularly Oregon State who can leapfrog with even an average score this weekend. Stanford is currently sitting at 196.640, and we know that even if they get a massive score at Pac-12s, they’ll max out at a 196.835, so even in the best possible scenario, they can move up to 9th but no higher.

They were on pace for a helpful 197 against Alabama until floor, where Nicolette McNair had a fall in her return to the lineup, and Vaculik finished with a fall to completely deflate a rotation that was moving in the right direction, very similar to what happened to Georgia. Vaculik has definitely improved her consistency this year, but then these floor mistakes have just started to creep in the last couple weeks. Other than that, it’s been all hitting for 9.9s and being the scoring leader of the team in the absence of Hong or a multi-event Shapiro. Also not to overlook the huge contributor Nicolette McNair has been in her first year. Where would they be scoring if she hadn’t come along? 

11. Auburn – 196.515
Week 9: 197.000
Week 9 leaders: AA – Atkinson 39.550; VT – Atkinson 9.900; UB – Atkinson, Kopec 9.875; BB – Demers, Walker 9.900; FX – Atkinson 9.900

Road Score 1: 196.850
Road Score 2: 196.550
Road Score 3: 195.950
Road/Home Score 1: 197.100
Road/Home Score 2: 197.000
Road/Home Score 3: 196.225

-Can move ahead of Stanford with a 196.600 this weekend away at Alabama, and max out at a 196.745 RQS if they achieve a season-high score.

12. Oregon State – 196.485
Week 9: 197.050
Week 9 leaders: AA – Tang 39.500; VT – Tang 9.875; UB – Aufiero 9.925; BB – Gardiner 9.925; FX – Gardiner, Harris, Ponto, Tang 9.850

Road Score 1: 197.050
Road Score 2: 196.450
Road Score 3: 195.625
Road/Home Score 1: 197.100
Road/Home Score 2: 196.675
Road/Home Score 3: 196.625

-Can move ahead of Stanford with a 196.425 this weekend, and can go as high as 196.780 in RQS with a season-high.

13. Minnesota – 196.305
Week 9: 196.275
Week 9 leaders: AA – Tomson 39.200; VT – Mable 9.950; UB – Tomson 9.750; BB – Haines, Russell 9.825; FX – Mable, Slechta 9.925

Road Score 1: 196.525
Road Score 2: 196.350
Road Score 3: 196.275
Road/Home Score 1: 197.250
Road/Home Score 2: 196.225
Road/Home Score 3: 196.150

14. Illinois – 196.285
Week 9: 197.100
Week 9 leaders: AA – Fielder 39.325; VT – Buchanan 9.925; UB – Kato 9.900; BB – Fielder 9.900; FX – See 9.925

Road Score 1: 196.500
Road Score 2: 195.850
Road Score 3: 195.825
Road/Home Score 1: 197.100
Road/Home Score 2: 196.775
Road/Home Score 3: 196.475

15. Penn State – 196.280
Week 9: 197.200
Week 9 leaders: AA – Stauder 39.475; VT – Sibson 9.975; UB – Medvitz, Stauder 9.850; BB – Stauder 9.950; FX – Musgrove 9.925

Road Score 1: 197.200
Road Score 2: 196.150
Road Score 3: 195.825
Road/Home Score 1: 196.675
Road/Home Score 2: 196.600
Road/Home Score 3: 196.150

16. Arkansas – 196.265
Week 9: 196.700
Week 9 leaders: AA – Grable 39.625; VT – Grable 9.925; UB – Grable 9.850; BB – Grable 9.925; FX – Grable 9.925

Road Score 1: 196.700
Road Score 2: 196.100
Road Score 3: 196.050
Road/Home Score 1: 197.100
Road/Home Score 2: 196.275
Road/Home Score 3: 196.200 

17. Boise State – 196.185
Week 9: 196.550
Week 9 leaders: AA – Morris 39.175; VT – Black, Morris 9.900; UB – Jacobsen 9.875; BB – Jacobsen 9.850; FX – Perkins 9.925

Road Score 1: 196.325
Road Score 2: 196.000
Road Score 3: 195.850
Road/Home Score 1: 196.975
Road/Home Score 2: 196.550
Road/Home Score 3: 196.200

18. Central Michigan – 196.075
Week 9: 195.725
Week 9 leaders: AA – Druien 38.025; VT – K Petzold 9.925; UB – Fagan 9.925; BB – Noonan 9.875; FX – Moraw 9.925

Road Score 1: 196.500
Road Score 2: 196.425
Road Score 3: 195.925
Road/Home Score 1: 196.600
Road/Home Score 2: 195.800
Road/Home Score 3: 195.725

19. California – 195.925
Week 9: 196.075
Week 9 leaders: AA – Owens 39.200; VT – Asturias 9.925; UB – Alferos 9.875; BB – Palomares 9.775; FX – Asturias 9.900

Road Score 1: 196.725
Road Score 2: 196.075
Road Score 3: 196.025
Road/Home Score 1: 196.425
Road/Home Score 2: 196.275
Road/Home Score 3: 195.550

-NOTE: 195.925 is the listed RQS on troester, so that’s what is here, but I have them at 196.070 based on these meet scores.

20. Arizona – 195.920
Week 9: 196.275
Week 9 leaders: AA – Flores 39.425; VT – Edwards 9.900; UB – Mills 9.900; BB – Edwards 9.900; FX – Klarenbach 9.950

Road Score 1: 195.850
Road Score 2: 195.625
Road Score 3: 195.350
Road/Home Score 1: 196.925
Road/Home Score 2: 196.500
Road/Home Score 3: 196.275

21. Denver – 195.845
Week 9: 195.825
Week 9 leaders: AA – McGee 39.300; VT – Martin 9.875; UB – Pulgarin Linero 9.850; BB – McGee 9.850; FX – McGee 9.875

Road Score 1: 196.550
Road Score 2: 195.875
Road Score 3: 195.825
Road/Home Score 1: 196.050
Road/Home Score 2: 195.800
Road/Home Score 3: 195.675

22. Arizona State – 195.710
Week 9: 194.150
Week 9 leaders: AA – None; VT – Seaman 9.900; UB – Kraus 9.875; BB – Gades 9.850; FX – Sundby 9.925

Road Score 1: 195.900
Road Score 2: 195.575
Road Score 3: 194.950
Road/Home Score 1: 196.200
Road/Home Score 2: 196.125
Road/Home Score 3: 196.000

23. Ohio State – 195.585
Week 9: 196.600
Week 9 leaders: AA – Shaffer 39.350; VT – Miller 9.950; UB – Aepli, Funches, Kent 9.800; BB – Shaffer 9.875; FX – DeLuca 9.925

Road Score 1: 195.925
Road Score 2: 195.275
Road Score 3: 195.200
Road/Home Score 1: 196.600
Road/Home Score 2: 195.900
Road/Home Score 3: 195.625

24. Southern Utah – 195.560
Week 9: No meet

Road Score 1: 195.925
Road Score 2: 195.700
Road Score 3: 195.500
Road/Home Score 1: 195.600
Road/Home Score 2: 195.550
Road/Home Score 3: 195.450

25. Kent State – 195.405
Week 9: 196.225
Week 9 leaders: AA – Case 39.600; VT – Drooger 9.850; UB – Case 9.925; BB – Case 9.875; FX – Case 9.975

Road Score 1: 195.700
Road Score 2: 195.525
Road Score 3: 194.725
Road/Home Score 1: 196.225
Road/Home Score 2: 195.675
Road/Home Score 3: 195.400

25. BYU – 195.405
Week 9: 196.125
Week 9 leaders: AA – Willman Hatch 39.350; VT – Gassaway, Johnson, Kulczyk 9.850; UB – Willman Hatch 9.925; BB – Bain Tidwell, Willman Hatch 9.850; FX – Kulczyk 9.900

Road Score 1: 195.525
Road Score 2: 195.325
Road Score 3: 194.675
Road/Home Score 1: 196.425
Road/Home Score 2: 196.125
Road/Home Score 3: 195.375

3 thoughts on “Week 9 Rankings and RQS Update”

  1. “This season, we've had 10 scores of 10.000 on floor, compared to 3 in 2013, 0 in 2012, 0 in 2011, and 0 in 2010. It's a different season.” That pretty much sums up 2014, doesn't it?
    “Remember, this is the exact spot in the schedule last year where we had that infamously scored showdown between Utah and Florida that caused all sorts of outrage. Teams scoring 198! People getting 10s without sticking! Unacceptable! We were so young and naive then.” I got a good chuckle out of that.

    I love this analysis, letting us know which road/home scores MUST be kept, the highest a team can climb this week, etc. It looks like a few teams can move a spot or two but top-to-bottom our top 10 looks pretty set. I cannot wait for the Utah/Georgia meet. It's always lights-out and there have been some hotly contested meets in years past. I'm excited to see Georgia (team) on bars and see if Georgia (Dabritz) can get a 10 for her perfect bars. And I agree – Georgia could be a 2-event team or a 4-event team, but which team shows up in Salt Lake City this weekend?

  2. Stanford's situation is almost more comical given that Nicolette McNair is (I believe) a WALK ON. If I were Stanford's coach, I'd be giving her a scholarship, like yesterday.

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