Week 7 Rankings and RQS Update

The big news of the week came in the land of commitments with Kyla Ross announcing that she is going to UCLA. This is an upset. We so rarely get upsets. Until very recently, all we had heard for years was “Stanford, Stanford, Stanford, Stanford.” Looks like Miss Val went to work. Next mission: Let’s work on not throwing up all those sloppy 9.6s on bars.

UCLA is shaping up to have something on the verge of a post-2000 class after the 2016 Olympics. There will be a couple years where Biles, Ross, Ohashi, Dennis, and Kocian will all be on the team at the same time (and in 2017, we could see a beam lineup with Peng, Ross, Biles, and Ohashi all together, stop thinking about it, stop thinking about it, stop jinxing it). The judges will be exploding in a shower of confetti over how many 10s they want to give them. Time to start getting everyone fitted for bubble-wrap body suits. No UCLA injury parades, please.

In actual competition this week, Utah returned to its home ways, winning the weekend with a 198.050, the fourth-best score in team history, featuring another 10 on bars for Georgia Dabritz. It’s funny that bars has turned out to be Dabritz’s 10 event, because I still sort of think it’s her third-best event. I prefer watching her on vault and floor, though the comaneci makes it so much better. A couple other routines I saw this weekend could realistically have received 10s and I only would have complained about it a medium amount, notably both Kayla Williams and Alex McMurtry on vault, especially compared to the other scores given out at those meets.

Interestingly, the scores are going very high, especially in the big-name meets with all kinds of 9.950s flying out of every orifice. But at the same time, the 10 pace has fallen off a little bit, as though there’s some timidity about giving out ALL THE 10s creeping in, but not about giving everyone 9.950s.

And now to the rankings.

Week 7 Rankings – (GymInfo)

1. Oklahoma – 197.640
Week 7: 197.375
Week 7 leaders: AA – None; VT – Scaman, Capps 9.900; UB – Wofford 9.950; BB – Capps 9.900; FX – Scaman 9.950

Road Score 1: 198.150
Road Score 2: 197.700
Road Score 3: 197.650
Road/Home Score 1: 197.850
Road/Home Score 2: 197.625
Road/Home Score 3: 197.375  

Oklahoma just escaped Michigan over the weekend. Just. That would have been a bit of a wake-up call, wouldn’t it? Lower-than-expected scores on both beam and floor accounted for Oklahoma spending a second straight week in the lower half of the 197s, after it seemed like they would never deign to score under a 197.500 given the early-season performances. 197.3 is what peasants score. Floor hasn’t been a problem for most of the year (Kara Lovan had a 9.450 disaster this time but is pretty much always a clean little broomstick of twisting for 9.900), but once again beam was the lowest-scoring event. It will be fine, and will be beautiful, but it’s definitely true that they have not been able to replace the Spears and Mooring routines with as reliable work.

In spite of the big scores from LSU and Utah over the weekend, Oklahoma’s RQS lead is still quite comfortable. It should remain comfortable in the near future given the road score advantage they maintain over all the other teams, as long as they can get rid of this 197.3 with a juicy 197.800 soon. 

2. LSU – 197.335
Week 7: 197.950
Week 7 leaders: AA – Courville 39.625; VT – Courville, Ewing 9.900; UB – Courville 9.950; BB – Jordan 9.925; FX – Hall 9.975
Road Score 1: 197.425
Road Score 2: 197.350
Road Score 3: 196.600
Road/Home Score 1: 198.075
Road/Home Score 2: 197.950
Road/Home Score 3: 197.350

This was a big home win over Florida. Very big. While LSU has been firmly in the title conversation since before the season started, they’ve been very clearly the third team in the hierarchy of the three big contenders. Victories like this (I struggle to call it an upset since they were at home, even though it was a ranking and reputation upset) help even the outlook. LSU hit a very composed and consistent meet and was the stronger team, but this was not their best gymnastics. Beam was more nervy than it has been in other meets, and the vault landings can be much more controlled. And Courville’s floor still has some random issue almost every time. Still, LSU confirmed that there is no real quality-of-gymnastics gap between them and the other title contenders. They are capable of beating a hit meet from any other team. They won’t necessarily need to hope for errors once Nationals come around.

The Tigers still trail Oklahoma by three tenths in the RQS battle, but they are going to Alabama next weekend with a golden chance to get rid of that mid-196 road score and pick up at least a couple tenths, which would put the pressure on the Sooners. They can’t catch Oklahoma yet, but they can make it competitive.

Of note, Ashleigh Gnat had verging on the best performances I’ve seen from her on all of her events.

3. Florida – 197.270
Week 7: 197.425
Week 7 leaders: AA – Hunter 39.450; VT – McMurtry 9.975; UB – Hunter 9.925; BB – Boyce, Fassbender 9.875; FX – Baker 9.950

Road Score 1: 197.425
Road Score 2: 197.200
Road Score 3: 196.925
Road/Home Score 1: 198.225
Road/Home Score 2: 197.600
Road/Home Score 3: 197.200

This 197.425 is Florida’s best road score of the season and a very respectable number, but as has already been the case for the Gators a couple times this season, it won’t feel very positive at all. Toward the end of the meet, Florida was not so great. They gave away a bunch of tenths in those final two rotations, with Hunter’s front headspring + slide + confused look middle pass (no CV for confused look), followed by the Bridgey fall, and then the Baker leadoff beam fall (death to wolf turns). On the positive side, Sloan is back on bars, and that makes everything better. And it should be a kick in the pants for the rest of the team that she has been out with an ankle disaster for 7 weeks and yet still landed her bars dismount better than anyone else in the rotation. Step to that.

Florida is definitely counting this 197.425 for RQS, which is considerably lower than the bold scores for Oklahoma and LSU, so they’ll have the most work to do in upcoming meets to stay competitive. They haven’t yet nailed a road meet and will desperately need to rectify that in Oklahoma on the 6th, otherwise they’ll be looking at three losses on the regular season, which would be fairly weird.

4. Utah – 197.265
Week 7: 198.050
Week 7 leaders: AA – Wilson 39.550; VT – Delaney 9.975; UB – Dabritz 10.000; BB – Lee 9.950; FX – Lothrop 9.925

Road Score 1: 197.850
Road Score 2: 197.025
Road Score 3: 196.900
Road/Home Score 1: 198.050
Road/Home Score 2: 197.825
Road/Home Score 3: 196.725

With the 198 over the weekend, Utah very nearly did the unexpected and caught up with Florida. The Utes should feel confident in their ability to rack up more points in the coming weeks with a couple 196s still hanging around that they will be expected to dismiss. 

Utah’s highest score over the weekend came on vault, which is unsurprising. That should always be their biggest asset. They’ve had the benefit of Dabritz, Delaney, Wilson for a while now, but now that Partyka and Lee are in the mix performing at a relatively similar quality, this group can out-vault any team. Watch how the landings look over the next month. They’re solid now, but these last few years, Utah’s vault landings have tended to peak at the end of February and then deteriorate to the point where they’re rolling into the postseason with 49.3s instead of the 49.5s they should be getting. They need to maintain what they’re doing at this moment.

5. Alabama – 197.055
Week 7: 197.675
Week 7 leaders: AA – Clark 39.625; VT – Williams 9.950; UB – Beers 9.950; BB – Clark 9.950; FX – Beers, Clark 9.950

Road Score 1: 197.675
Road Score 2: 196.700
Road Score 3: 196.175
Road/Home Score 1: 197.800
Road/Home Score 2: 197.400
Road/Home Score 3: 197.325

Alabama put up its first good road performance of the season to put themselves over the 197 hump in RQS. With five more meets remaining, and three on the road, we should expect Alabama to get rid of both of those other 196s and remain solidly entrenched in the top 5. The 197.675 over the weekend was a big step. Not so much because of the score, since this meet was basically a lifetime achievement award for the 9.950, but because they were able to absorb the absence of the clean, consistent AA presence of Katie Bailey without seeming worse for it. They have the depth to get by without a major AAer and still put up routines that will score at least 9.825.

I do squint about how competitive these floor 9.950s are really going to be when put up against the 9.950s from the top three, but it’s clear at this point that reports of Alabama’s demise this season were premature. They’re still a very competitive group and certainly look like a comfortable Super Six bet right now. In particular, I’m pleased to see Kaitlyn Clark in the AA this season after years of looking like she was going to be in the floor lineup during preseason and then never seeing the light of day. She’s certainly good enough to be there. Also, Keely McNeer’s beam routine is a dream. 

6. Michigan – 196.985
Week 7: 197.250
Week 7 leaders: AA – Artz 39.600; VT – Sugiyama 9.900; UB – Brown 9.925; BB – Artz 9.950; FX – Artz 9.925

Road Score 1: 197.125
Road Score 2: 196.975
Road Score 3: 196.725
Road/Home Score 1: 197.300
Road/Home Score 2: 197.250
Road/Home Score 3: 196.850

Getting this close to beating Oklahoma was a big result. In spite of Michigan’s strong start to the season, they have seemed like they’d be one of those teams that starts the season very competitively but falls away once everyone else starts rounding into form, finishing much farther from Super Six than their early ranking would have suggested. There’s at least one every year, but keeping pace with a very likely Super Six team at the end of February goes a long way to making the case that Michigan really is a top-6 team.

They came home and recovered well from last week’s OK performance, fulfilling all of the missions I set for them before this meet. Lindsay Williams pulled it back together, Austin Sheppard got a 9.850 on vault (so if she continues this trend and improves .150 every week, it’s a 10 next weekend, right?), and Nicole Artz stayed in bounds on floor to return to the 9.925s. Vault landings and early 9.775-9.825s remain questions, but while many of the other possible contenders still have sloppy rotations, Michigan is showing that the ability to come back from meh and subdue the slop beast is a significant asset.

7. Auburn – 196.610
Week 7: 196.875
Week 7 leaders: AA – None; VT – Atkinson, Rott 9.875; UB – Atkinson, Walker 9.875; BB – Walker 9.900; FX Demers 9.875

Road Score 1: 196.875
Road Score 2: 196.825
Road Score 3: 195.650
Road/Home Score 1: 197.300
Road/Home Score 2: 197.075
Road/Home Score 3: 196.625

With another high 196 on the road, Auburn made the leap ahead of Nebraska and into yet another surprisingly high new ranking position. I think most people who have watched this team develop knew Auburn was going to be very good this year and would challenge some perennial powers, but I didn’t think they would be quite this competitive right now. #7 is a legit ranking. Plus, the consistency is starting to develop, which is something we haven’t seen from this team before. Auburn hasn’t thrown a 48 rotation since the second week of the season, which not that many teams can claim.

Next week’s meet in Georgia should be fascinating, with Auburn coming in as the higher-ranked team (gasp!) in this showdown between the two schools who appear to be fighting it out for that final evening-session spot at SECs. Given the scoring at Georgia this past weekend, and that Auburn still has a 195 road score to get rid of, a solid showing would help Auburn put some serious pressure on Michigan at #6.

8. Nebraska – 196.595
Week 7: 196.650
Week 7 leaders: AA – Williams 39.250; VT – Stephens 9.900; UB – DeZiel 9.900; BB – J Lauer 9.900; FX – Lambert 9.950

Road Score 1: 197.075
Road Score 2: 196.650
Road Score 3: 196.250
Road/Home Score 1: 197.325
Road/Home Score 2: 197.125
Road/Home Score 3: 195.875

Nebraska desperately needed a road score this week with just one road meet remaining on the season. This 196.650 gets the job done, but it’s still a slightly missed opportunity. The Huskers recorded 10 routines under 9.800, which undermined much of the advantage they could have gained. This meet had 197 written all over it. When Jessie DeZiel gets a 9.675 on vault, you know you’ve left some tenths on the table.

While the weaker vault scores are an unexpected blip and should revert back to their usual monster-time state before we know it, the lower bars scores are a concern. Nebraska has struggled to get out of the low 49s in every meet this year and haven’t yet nailed a bars rotation. Way more 9.7s than I would have expected coming into the season. 

9. Georgia – 196.525
Week 7: 196.825
Week 7 leaders: AA – None; VT – Broussard 9.975; UB – Persinger 9.900; BB – Box 9.950; FX – Persinger 9.875

Current RQS: 196.280
Road Score 1: 196.950
Road Score 2: 196.850
Road Score 3: 196.200
Road/Home Score 1: 196.975
Road/Home Score 2: 196.825
Road/Home Score 3: 195.800

Ah, the wonders of NCAA scoring and RQS. Georgia had what would be considered by anyone watching the meet, and by anyone on the team, a very disappointing performance, and yet they still recorded a high 196, increased their RQS by multiple tenths, and shot up in the rankings. Hooray! But you’re not fooling me. It started well, too. Vault was great, with Davis coming back and Broussard and Rogers both showing season-best performances, but then it went to sloppy town, culminating in a disastrous floor rotation with two falls from the two people who are supposed to be upgrading to DLOs (not happening at this rate), and a couple other major landing errors that still managed to sneak 9.8s somehow. It was not good. It needs to be fixed two weeks ago. And yet, Georgia is still quite competitive in the rankings with a 195 still to get rid of next week.

But the meet against Auburn is even more important for Georgia than for Auburn. In both the score and the pride departments. Georgia has already fallen to Florida, LSU, and Alabama this season. They can’t lose to Auburn as well and still make a case that they’re one of the top-four teams in the SEC.

In other news, Sarah Persinger won two events for the team! It begins.

10. UCLA – 196.315
Week 7: 197.050
Week 7 leaders: AA – Peszek 39.625; VT – Williams 9.950; UB – Lee 9.950; BB – Lee 9.975; FX – Francis 9.950

Road Score 1: 197.075
Road Score 2: 196.000
Road Score 3: 194.725
Road/Home Score 1: 197.050
Road/Home Score 2: 197.000
Road/Home Score 3: 196.800

UCLA recorded another fine, acceptable performance over the weekend, but they still have yet to put together a truly hit meet. In the good column, we started to see what can happen on beam when Peszek, Lee, and Francis all hit at the same time. While a couple other teams have stronger lineups 1-6, the Peszek, Lee, Francis group is the most formidable beam trio in the country. As long as they get 9.8s from the others, they’re exceptional. But then, UCLA continued the trend of having 9.6s on bars every week with three poor dismounts, and also ended up counting a 9.6 from DeJesus on floor coming in for the woefully absent Cipra. Even on vault, which ended up being a fine score, they did not stick enough landings. Given the opportunity for 9.950s that was presented on a throne this week, UCLA really should have come away with at least a mid 197. We’re waiting. It won’t happen until Regionals, knowing this team.

The good news for the Bruins is that they still have a chance to get rid of all their sub-197 scores for RQS, which Georgia and Nebraska cannot say. They’ll barely have to do anything on the road at Arizona State next week to zoom up. Even a mid-196 makes them very competitive with Auburn, Nebraska, and Georgia.

11. Stanford – 196.175
Week 7: 195.900
Week 7 leaders: AA – Rice 39.425; VT – Price 9.925; UB – Shapiro 9.900; BB – Rice 9.900; FX – Daum, Shapiro 9.875

Road Score 1: 196.525
Road Score 2: 196.275
Road Score 3: 195.950
Road/Home Score 1: 197.000
Road/Home Score 2: 196.225
Road/Home Score 3: 195.900

12. Oregon State – 196.150
Week 7: 196.275
Week 7 leaders: AA – None; VT – Keeker 9.900; UB – Keeker, McMillan 9.850; BB – Gardiner 9.875; FX – Gardiner 9.900

Road Score 1: 197.250
Road Score 2: 196.450
Road Score 3: 196.275
Road/Home Score 1: 196.250
Road/Home Score 2: 195.975
Road/Home Score 3: 195.800

13. Penn State – 196.125
Week 7: 196.175
Week 7 leaders: AA – Sanabria-Robles 39.225; VT – Tsang 9.875; UB – Sanabria-Robles 9.825; BB – Medvitz 9.850; FX – Tsang 9.875

Road Score 1: 196.175
Road Score 2: 196.025
Road Score 3: 195.600
Road/Home Score 1: 197.025
Road/Home Score 2: 196.550
Road/Home Score 3: 196.275
14. Minnesota – 196.010
Week 7 A: 196.350
Week 7 A leaders: AA – Mable 39.625; VT – Mable 9.950; UB – Mable, Tomson 9.900; BB – Mable 9.925; FX – Tomson 9.875

Week 7 B: 195.325
Week 7 B leaders: AA – Mable 39.425; VT – Mable 9.925; UB – Mable, Hanley 9.850; BB – Haines 9.750; FX – Mable 9.925

Road Score 1: 196.875
Road Score 2: 196.350
Road Score 3: 195.375
Road/Home Score 1: 196.675
Road/Home Score 2: 196.325
Road/Home Score 3: 195.325

15. Boise State – 196.000
Week 7: 196.025
Week 7 leaders: AA – Morris 39.450; VT – Morris 9.900; UB – Jacobsen 9.875; BB – Jacobsen 9.850; FX – Morris 9.900

Road Score 1: 196.625
Road Score 2: 196.025
Road Score 3: 195.975
Road/Home Score 1: 196.725
Road/Home Score 2: 195.925
Road/Home Score 3: 195.450

16. Illinois – 195.945
Week 7: 196.500
Week 7 leaders: AA – O’Connor 39.450; VT – Buchanan 9.875; UB – O’Connor 9.850; BB – Kato 9.900; FX – O’Connor 9.900

Road Score 1: 196.975
Road Score 2: 195.475
Road Score 3: 195.175
Road/Home Score 1: 196.500
Road/Home Score 2: 196.400
Road/Home Score 3: 196.175

17. Arkansas – 195.820
Week 7: 194.825
Week 7 leaders: AA – Wellick 39.375; VT – Wellick 9.925; UB – Zaziski 9.850; BB – Dillard 9.875; FX – Elswick, Nelson 9.850

Road Score 1: 196.250
Road Score 2: 196.250
Road Score 3: 194.900
Road/Home Score 1: 196.650
Road/Home Score 2: 196.325
Road/Home Score 3: 195.375

18. Denver – 195.800
Week 7: 196.725
Week 7 leaders: AA – McGee 39.450; VT – Ross 9.900; UB – McGee 9.875; BB – Fielitz, Lomonte 9.825; FX – McGee 9.975

Road Score 1: 196.150
Road Score 2: 195.500
Road Score 3: 195.425
Road/Home Score 1: 196.725
Road/Home Score 2: 196.025
Road/Home Score 3: 195.900

19. Cal – 195.660
Week 7: 196.600
Week 7 leaders: AA – Williams 39.375; VT – Williams 9.900; UB – Ho, Owens 9.850; BB – Palomares 9.900; FX – Williams 9.950

Road Score 1: 196.600
Road Score 2: 195.425
Road Score 3: 195.175
Road/Home Score 1: 196.225
Road/Home Score 2: 195.900
Road/Home Score 3: 195.575

20. Arizona – 195.615
Week 7: 196.625
Week 7 leaders: AA – Flores 39.350; VT – Edwards 9.875; UB – Ortiz 9.900; BB – Cindric, Flores, Fox 9.850; FX – Flores, Sisler 9.875

Road Score 1: 196.050
Road Score 2: 195.300
Road Score 3: 195.100
Road/Home Score 1: 196.625
Road/Home Score 2: 196.375
Road/Home Score 3: 195.250

21. Southern Utah – 195.555
Week 7: 196.225
Week 7 leaders: AA – None; VT – Blake, Webb 9.825; UB – Armijo, Yee 9.900; BB – Bozzuto, Ramirez 9.875; FX – Webb 9.900

Road Score 1: 196.225
Road Score 2: 195.750
Road Score 3: 195.500
Road/Home Score 1: 195.650
Road/Home Score 2: 195.500
Road/Home Score 3: 195.375

22. Washington – 195.395
Week 7: 195.325
Week 7 leaders: AA – Northey 38.850; VT – Burleson 9.925; UB – McKenzie 9.700; BB – McCartin 9.900; FX – Janik, Northey 9.875

Road Score 1: 196.300
Road Score 2: 195.550
Road Score 3: 194.500
Road/Home Score 1: 195.950
Road/Home Score 2: 195.650
Road/Home Score 3: 195.325

23. Missouri – 195.315
Week 7: 195.800
Week 7 leaders: AA – Schugel 39.025; VT – Miller 9.975; UB – Johnson, Miller 9.825; BB – Kappler 9.875; FX – Kappler 9.850

Road Score 1: 195.975
Road Score 2: 195.850
Road Score 3: 195.225
Road/Home Score 1: 195.800
Road/Home Score 2: 195.150
Road/Home Score 3: 194.550

24. Iowa – 195.280
Week 7: 195.850
Week 7 leaders: AA – Metcalf 39.175; VT – Metcalf 9.850; UB – Drenth 9.825; BB – Metcalf 9.825; FX – Hoerr 9.875

Road Score 1: 195.850
Road Score 2: 195.225
Road Score 3: 195.175
Road/Home Score 1: 196.375
Road/Home Score 2: 195.725
Road/Home Score 3: 194.425 

25. Kentucky – 195.275
Week 7: 195.750
Week 7 leaders: AA – None; VT – Waltz 9.900; UB – Beucler 9.800; BB – Mitchell 9.900; FX – Puryear 9.850

Road Score 1: 195.825
Road Score 2: 194.975
Road Score 3: 194.425
Road/Home Score 1: 195.750
Road/Home Score 2: 195.625
Road/Home Score 3: 195.600

2 thoughts on “Week 7 Rankings and RQS Update”

  1. RQS = Regional qualifying score, which is how the rankings are based starting at this point in the season. From the rankings website's FAQ:

    Qualification for regional competition is based on a team's and an all-around competitor's six best regular-season-meet scores, of which three must be away. To obtain the regional qualifying score (RQS), the high score is eliminated and the remaining five scores are averaged.

    So, as you'll see from the scores laid out above, we're looking for the top three road scores, and then the top three remaining scores (usually home scores, as most teams tend to score at least as well at home as on the road, but they don't need to be). Throw out the top one of those six, and average the rest, and you've got the RQS.

    It's a better predictor by the end of the season of which teams are tough to beat, because you throw out early or fluky bad meets, but there's always a certain amount of frustration about whether some teams benefit from laxer scoring at home or in their home conference, so that some teams may end up ranked higher than other teams who, in a head-to-head with both teams hitting, you might think would beat them.

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