Returning Scores for 2015

Yesterday, the Oklahoma Sooners got all intrasquady and have posted a few videos to faceplace. At the very least, it appears we will have to change Chayse Capps Love Fest 2014 to Chayse Capps Love Fest 2015. Also Haley Scaman is getting really familiar with the floor this year.

In other news, while we wait for the coaches to release their annual and extremely meaningful poll so that we can spend a week making fun of it, I decided to check out how the top teams stack up based only on the scores they’re returning from their postseason lineups last season. Because why not. 

For each of the top 10 teams last season, I inserted the RQSs of the returning gymnasts back into the lineups on each event, then replaced all the lost scores from now-departed seniors with 9.800, dropping the lowest score as we always do. I chose 9.800 because for teams of the highest level, it is the baseline replacement-level score. They all should be able to come up with at least 9.800s from backups. It’s a fine, regular, middle-of-the-road score.

Ranking the teams like this is a way of seeing how much scoring value each team has lost since last year. We can always say that one team lost 10 routines while another lost only 4, but that doesn’t necessarily reflect the value of those individual routines. If a team is losing a bunch of routines, but they’re mostly 9.825s, it’s probably not that hard to replace those scores. If a team is losing a few routines, but they’re 9.950s, that’s going to be much harder. Inserting 9.800 in place of those scores illuminates how much scoring value the freshmen, injury returners, and backups from last season will have to contribute for the team to return to (or improve on) last year’s level, not just how many lineup spots they’ll have to fill.

For gymnasts without an RQS, or one that was not appropriately representative, I used the season average for hit routines, which best mimics what RQS is intended to tell us.

1. LSU – 197.725
Vault – 49.475 [2]
Bars – 49.320 [5]
Beam – 49.375 [1]
Floor – 49.555 [1]

2. OKLAHOMA – 197.650
Vault – 49.530 [1]
Bars – 49.353 [3]
Beam – 49.329 [2]
Floor – 49.438 [3]

3. FLORIDA – 197.600
Vault – 49.390 [4]
Bars – 49.360 [2]
Beam – 49.325 [3]
Floor – 49.525 [2]

-A clear top three emerges in LSU, Oklahoma, and Florida, which is not surprising. Along with Alabama, they were the top teams last season, and Alabama lost a big bag of essential routines.

-Of these three, Florida is taking the biggest knock this year without Caquatto and Johnson, but the Gators will balance that out by having the year’s most impressive freshman class. It does means that among these teams, Florida needs to get the most out of its freshmen and returning backups, whereas LSU is returning its entire floor lineup from Super Six last year, so further contribution there would just be a bonus.

-LSU is retaining the most value of any team, but that bars ranking (5th of these 10 teams) reflects the dire lack of Sarie Morrison. The other low(ish) team ranking in this group is Florida’s vault, with the 4th-best returning vault contingent, but they do look to be stronger there is season than last season with Kennedy Baker and Alex McMurtry coming in.

-Oklahoma is already returning the best vault scores, and now they’re adding Brenna Dowell and Ali Jackson. So there’s that. Interestingly, without Taylor Spears, Oklahoma drops below LSU on beam for its returning scores, but make no mistake, the Sooners won’t be throwing up some measly replacement-level 9.800 in that lineup.

4. UTAH – 197.331
Vault – 49.465 [3]
Bars – 49.335 [4]
Beam – 49.151 [7]
Floor – 49.380 [4]

-Utah lost quite a few routines, but most of the biggest scores are returning because Dabritz is still there. They do drop to 4th in returning floor scores because half the lineup is gone now. I’m interested to see who makes floor this year because it’s a real question for the first time in a while.

5. UCLA – 197.029
Vault – 49.160 [9]
Bars – 49.320 [5]
Beam – 49.315 [4]
Floor – 49.234 [5]

-This is the best illustration of why Pua Hall’s vault is UCLA’s most important freshman routine. Not having Olivia Courtney’s score in there really exposes UCLA’s recent struggles on that event. Still, 5th place in returning scores is higher than I thought it would be. 

6. ALABAMA – 196.967
Vault – 49.280 [7]
Bars – 49.320 [5]
Beam – 49.210 [5]
Floor – 49.157 [9]

-I’m actually impressed that Alabama stayed this high in these rankings given how many routines they have dropped. Nonetheless, it is evidence of how many new, significant routines they need this season, particularly on floor with three of their four best routines gone now. On that event, Alabama is going to have a “Where are the 9.9s?” kind of January. That’s my biggest question at least.

7. STANFORD – 196.964
Vault – 49.315 [6]
Bars – 49.315 [8]
Beam – 49.164 [6]
Floor – 49.170 [7]

-It’s interesting that when we use only the returning scores, all the Pac-12 teams move up. Stanford has lost a couple critical routines form last year in terms of wonderfulness, but not too many huge scores. With this roster, I have one condition for Stanford this year: You have to be amazing.

8. GEORGIA – 196.952
Vault – 49.215 [8]
Bars – 49.465 [1]
Beam – 49.082 [9]
Floor – 49.190 [6]

-Georgia is a little bit lower than they should be here because Brittany Rogers wasn’t in most of those postseason lineups even though she contributed to the team RQS throughout the season. So, the Gymdogs are returning more scores than it appears, particularly on vault and beam.

-MANY of the top teams have lost their best bars workers (Caquatto, Johnson, Spears, Morrison, Wong), but with Georgia retaining Rogers and Chelsea Davis and company, they start with a clear bars advantage over all the other teams. The rest have to use their various new Brenna Dowells to catch up.

9. NEBRASKA – 196.770
Vault – 49.360 [5]
Bars – 49.169 [9]
Beam – 49.092 [8]
Floor – 49.149 [10]

-Lack of Emily Wong. It’s good for no one.

-But, Grace Williams and Kamerin Moore.

10. MICHIGAN – 196.429
Vault – 49.085 [10]
Bars – 49.110 [10]
Beam – 49.075 [10]
Floor – 49.159 [8]

-Michigan lost the most of any of the top 10 teams by a pretty big margin. It was always going to happen with all those stars leaving at the same time.

-Like Georgia without Rogers, Michigan is returning more than is reflected here because of Sheppard missing the postseason last year. 

2 thoughts on “Returning Scores for 2015”

  1. It also highlights UCLA's need to stop giving scholarships to broken and mentally handicapped girls. Wouldn't both Whitcomb and Larson be in their senior year now?

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