Week 6 Rankings + RQS Outlook

Now that we’ve reached the point in the season during which the top teams get all boring and start hitting their routines and getting good scores and giving us nothing fun to talk about (I mean, Georgia hit beam this week…so inconsiderate), let’s switch gears and get a little numerical.

But really, we didn’t even get a 10 this week! Just a bunch of 9.975s thrown out to people for silly reasons like being internet famous, going last on floor, or being Elizabeth Price and deserving it.  

We’re still one week away from RQS kicking in. At least, that’s when it usually kicks in. Road to Nationals doesn’t have that information anywhere that I’ve seen. Troester used to have a little note about when rankings switch over to RQS, but anyway, it’s usually for next Monday’s rankings.

For the moment, I’ve put together each team’s RQS outlook to give a sense of what the true rankings will be once we switch over and what kinds of scores teams need to get in order to avoid falling precipitously into the depths of 195s.

Refresher: RQS stands for Regional Qualifying Score. It determines which 36 teams will advance to the Regional Championships and is calculated by taking a team’s top six scores, of which at least three must be road scores, removing the highest score, and averaging the remaining five.

Week 6 rankings
1. Oklahoma – 197.428

Current RQS: 197.545
Road Score 1: 197.925
Road Score 2: 197.675
Road Score 3: 197.550
Road/Home Score 1: 197.900
Road/Home Score 2: 197.475
Road/Home Score 3: 197.125

*Scores in bold are guaranteed to be part of the final 6 RQS scores with not enough meets remaining to eliminate them. 

The Sooners are running away with RQS right now, over four tenths ahead of any other team and already in a very comfortable position with well over a month of meets and detail perfecting left. They’ll expect to drop the pitiful little 197.1 and probably that 197.4 as well over the next five meets to rise even higher and challenge the school-record RQS of 197.895 from last season. That’s level with Florida’s mark from 2014 as the second-best ever, and while UCLA’s 2004 record RQS of 198.055 is probably out of reach, you never know.

2. Florida – 197.258

Current RQS: 197.075
Road Score 1: 197.075
Road Score 2: 196.825
Road Score 3: 196.350
Road/Home Score 1: 198.175
Road/Home Score 2: 197.675
Road/Home Score 3: 197.450

Try to contain your shock. Florida’s home scores are much stronger than the road scores. WHAAAAAT????? Those road scores will need a little emotional help if Florida has a hope to challenge Oklahoma, or even stay in second position. The Gators have just three road meets remaining and would ideally like to get rid of all three of those current road scores. Sure, the regular-season #1 is a purely symbolic title and doesn’t matter, but if Florida is going to have a realistic shot at that symbolic title, the meet this coming weekend at Missouri needs to be a 197.5+.

3. Michigan – 196.993

Current RQS: 196.920
Road Score 1: 196.975
Road Score 2: 196.900
Road Score 3: 196.550
Road/Home Score 1: 197.425
Road/Home Score 2: 197.225
Road/Home Score 3:196.950

Michigan has among the solidest sets of six scores, without the terror of a hideously low score that needs dropping. On the flip side, that impedes any chance to move up dramatically with a single giant number, though more of those mid 197s would put Michigan on track to challenge what Florida and Alabama currently have. That 196.5 is the lone runt, and this coming weekend at Southern Utah, the Wolverines will have a chance to drop it and move as high as 197.095 with a season-high score. Still, they currently have the fourth-highest RQS because of all those 196.9s, and staying at fourth would be an excellent regular-season accomplishment that they would have taken in a millisecond if offered it before the start of the season.

4. Alabama – 196.959

Current RQS: 197.090
Road Score 1: 197.525
Road Score 2: 197.250
Road Score 3: 196.875
Road/Home Score 1: 197.375
Road/Home Score 2: 197.175
Road/Home Score 3: 196.775

The big news here is that if RQS were currently in place, Alabama would be ranked #2 despite a season of losing to weaker SEC teams. Those two early-season low 196s are bringing down the average a bit, but once they’re dropped, Alabama’s scores look healthy and competitive. With just four meets left, the Tide doesn’t have as many opportunities to drop scores, but at this point they’re not forced to count anything untoward and are outpacing Florida because of stronger road scores. And we can only expect improvement in the scores from here. 

5. Utah – 196.729

Current RQS: N/A
Road Score 1: 197.075
Road Score 2: 196.725
Road Score 3: N/A
Road/Home Score 1: 197.150
Road/Home Score 2: 197.125
Road/Home Score 3: 196.175

Utah has just two road meets on its resume so far, so we’ll have to wait until after this weekend to see where things stand. With four road meets remaining, there’s plenty of time left to get valuable numbers. That low 196.1 home score is bringing things down for the moment but will surely be dropped in due course. The real issue making Utah vulnerable to dropping down to a #2 regional seed is a lack of high, high scores. These are healthy scores, but not yet huge scores, with even a couple charitably scored home meets so far featuring a dud rotation that keeps the total lower.

6. LSU – 196.721

Current RQS: 196.580
Road Score 1: 196.800
Road Score 2: 196.750
Road Score 3: 195.825
Road/Home Score 1: 197.425
Road/Home Score 2: 196.950
Road/Home Score 3: 196.575

LSU should be higher than 6th based on talent, and that 195 road score renders the current RQS total artificially low. Once LSU heads to Florida on February 26 and can get rid of that score, the ranking will skyrocket. Still, LSU is in a similar position to Florida of lacking any truly huge road scores so far and feeling a bit of urgency in that department with just three road meets remaining. They’ll need a series of 197s to have any chance to challenge Oklahoma/Florida/Alabama.

7. UCLA – 196.671

Current RQS: 196.510
Road Score 1: 196.925
Road Score 2: 196.800
Road Score 3: 195.175
Road/Home Score 1: 197.475
Road/Home Score 2: 197.100
Road/Home Score 3: 196.550

The problem for the Bruins is having just two road meets remaining. They’re already forced to use that 196.9 road score, which is fine, but they’re the only team in the top eight that currently has a bold score in the 196s. The positive sign is that the home scores look healthy, and the RQS total should go way, way, way up once that nasty 195.1 is gone. UCLA heads to Washington on Sunday, and as long as we don’t see a patented mid-February road depth exploration, the RQS total will rise into the high 196s and could verge on 197 with a season-high score. The lack of road meets does inject a little more urgency into this meet to make sure that challenging Utah and LSU remains a realistic proposition, which it does at this point.

8. Auburn – 196.357

Current RQS: 196.265
Road Score 1: 196.825
Road Score 2: 196.175
Road Score 3: 196.075
Road/Home Score 1: 197.275
Road/Home Score 2: 196.275
Road/Home Score 3: 195.975

Auburn broke the world and the smiling muscles of everyone on the team with last weekend’s historic win over Alabama for the first time in the last 196 million tries. The team is currently a notch behind the top 7 because of a slow start and those early-season low scores. Competitiveness will hinge on their ability to drop three or four of those currently counting scores before the end of the season because it will be extremely difficulty to get any higher than 8th while counting 196.1s. They’d be fine with finishing 8th. The real task will be dropping those low 196s to fend off the likes of Georgia and Stanford and avoid falling into that dreaded 10th-12th zone, the teams who have the face the most dangerous #3 seeds at regionals.

9. Boise State – 196.210

Current RQS: N/A
Road Score 1: 196.425
Road Score 2: 196.400
Road Score 3: 196.275
Road/Home Score 1: 196.250
Road/Home Score 2: 195.700
Road/Home Score 3: N/A

Boise State hasn’t had a home meet yet because schools just LOVE their gymnastics teams and give them all the opportunities in the world to use venues. One of the surprises of the season so far has been BSU’s consistently competitive 196s over the last month, avoiding counting major errors and leapfrogging all the teams having messes. The question will be whether these scores can stand up and earn Boise State a huge upset of a top-12 spot once the three teams ranked just behind start dropping the low scores they’re currently counting.

10. Georgia – 196.182

Current RQS: 196.097
Road Score 1: 196.775
Road Score 2: 196.275
Road Score 3: 195.350
Road/Home Score 1: 197.525
Road/Home Score 2: 196.400
Road/Home Score 3: 195.700

Georgia overcame a big hurdle at just the right time by HITTING SIX BEAM ROUTINES over the weekend and scoring a wildly necessary 197.5 to take these scores off life support. Georgia has six more meets remaining, including four on the road, so there’s still plenty of time to populate the RQS picture with better scores as long as the most recent showing was a sign of things to come. Expect Georgia to move up steadily each week as those 195s come off, but with really just two scores that they’d be OK keeping (that 197 and the one road 196.775), there’s no time for a relapse. Everything has to be fixed by now to get to top 8. Georgia has no business finishing the regular season outside the top 8. 

11. Arkansas – 196.168

Current RQS: 196.265
Road Score 1: 196.700
Road Score 2: 196.150
Road Score 3: 195.975
Road/Home Score 1: 196.700

Road/Home Score 2: 196.600
Road/Home Score 3: 195.900

Consistency is serving Arkansas well, resulting in an identical RQS to Auburn at this point in spite of a ranking three places below on average. What Arkansas doesn’t have are 196.8-197s, scoring potential that keeps Auburn elevated for the time being. That’s the thing with RQS and the main argument against it. It does not reward consistency. It rewards teams with high peaks by allowing them to drop all their valleys. Arkansas still has 195s to drop in order to move up but looks likely to be one of the teams hanging around 10-13 unless the 197s start to fly.

12. Stanford – 195.971

Current RQS: 195.830
Road Score 1: 196.650
Road Score 2: 196.075
Road Score 3: 195.875
Road/Home Score 1: 196.675
Road/Home Score 2: 195.750
Road/Home Score 3: 194.800

The perennial trouble for Stanford: few meets + fewer home meets + slow start = RQS disaster. The RQS expectation for Stanford is never a particularly high because they don’t compete as much as the other teams and always end up having to keep some lower scores. It will get much better once that 194 goes away, which hopefully will keep Stanford in the top 12. No one wants to see Stanford showing up as a #3 seed in a regional. Except me. Because that would be an exciting nightmare for the teams in that competition. Could you imagine Stanford and Georgia both getting placed into a regional with Alabama? Eeeeeee! That’s unlikely, but not out of the question if Stanford and Georgia don’t pick it up right now. Stanford has four meets remaining and four scores that need dropping in order to get an RQS in the 196.6s, which is what it took to make the top 12 last year. Those two bold scores need to be a baseline.

13. Denver – 195.954

Current RQS: 195.810
Road Score 1: 196.125
Road Score 2: 196.000
Road Score 3: 195.900
Road/Home Score 1: 196.675
Road/Home Score 2: 195.650
Road/Home Score 3: 195.375

Denver is sort of in no-man’s-land right now between the big girls and the others. There’s one high home score in here and a couple usable road 196s (though not really that usable if a top-12 ranking is the goal), but scores will need to stay above the 196 plateau from here on if they’re going to fend off a school like, say, Nebraska. The good news for Denver is having six remaining meets, so there’s enough time left to drop these 195s and show that 196.6 isn’t just a silly home score but a real expectation.

14. Nebraska – 195.875

Current RQS: 195.695
Road Score 1: 196.350
Road Score 2: 196.150
Road Score 3: 194.050
Road/Home Score 1: 196.775
Road/Home Score 2: 196.100
Road/Home Score 3: 195.825

Talk about teams no one wants to see as a #3 seed. This isn’t a Nebraska team of yore but still is absolutely capable of challenging with a big 196 and upsetting everyone and everything. The Huskers are also in the deadly territory of having just two road meets left, meaning that 196.350 isn’t going anywhere. That’s already lower than counting road scores from the likes of Arkansas and Boise State, schools they would have fancied themselves able to pass. It may start to get tough. This number will start looking much better, however, once they drop that 194.050 after this weekend’s meet at Iowa State. Even just a 196.000 this weekend would put Nebraska over a 196 RQS and much closer to challenging Arkansas.

15. Cal – 195.730

Current RQS: N/A
Road Score 1: 195.650
Road Score 2: 195.575
Road Score 3: 194.225
Road/Home Score 1: 196.825
Road/Home Score 2: 196.375
Road/Home Score 3: N/A

Cal competes tonight at ASU which will give them an RQS at the very least. Last Monday’s 196.825 was a gigantic lift, but there’s no chance to stick around at 15th unless those road scores start to go away like right now, so tonight’s meet takes on some added significance.

16. Oregon State – 195.721

Current RQS: 195.595
Road Score 1: 196.350
Road Score 2: 196.225
Road Score 3: 195.325
Road/Home Score 1: 195.875
Road/Home Score 2: 195.425
Road/Home Score 3: 195.125

Like Nebraska, Oregon State is already counting a pretty pedestrian road score, but the home scores are the real issue. At least Nebraska has a couple 196s on the home record as well. If OSU has any chance of avoiding a #3 seed, those four 195s have to go away in the next five meets. The performance against UCLA was encouraging, especially because of the continued progression of McMillan, but it was still just a 196.2, which is a precarious score.

17. George Washington – 195.675

Current RQS: N/A
Road Score 1: 196.175
Road Score 2: 196.075
Road Score 3: 195.750
Road/Home Score 1: 195.425
Road/Home Score 2: 194.950
Road/Home Score 3: N/A

GWU is another of those schools with a buttload of meets left, so there’s not a lot of urgency around the RQS outlook quite yet. But, if we’re going to treat George Washington as one of the big girls capable of being a #3 seed rather than just being really condescending and “Oh, I’m so HAPPY for them!” about this season, then only two of these current scores are acceptable. Four more 196s in the remaining seven meets is the next order of business.

18. Minnesota – 195.658

Current RQS: N/A
Road Score 1: 196.300
Road Score 2: 196.075
Road Score 3: N/A
Road/Home Score 1: 195.775
Road/Home Score 2: 195.675
Road/Home Score 3: 195.425

19. Missouri – 195.646

Current RQS: 195.645
Road Score 1: 196.050
Road Score 2: 195.825
Road Score 3: 195.200
Road/Home Score 1: 196.625
Road/Home Score 2: 195.800
Road/Home Score 3: 195.350

Note that Missouri’s RQS is currently better than Oregon State’s and competitive with Nebraska. 

20. Arizona – 195.442

Current RQS: 195.235
Road Score 1: 196.000
Road Score 2: 194.850
Road Score 3: 193.475
Road/Home Score 1: 196.475
Road/Home Score 2: 196.150
Road/Home Score 3: 195.700

Arizona has shown flashes of brilliance and has returned to a deserved ranking of #20, but the final ranking will hinge on their ability to remove those two absolutely horrific road scores over the next three road meets. The urgency begins.

21. Eastern Michigan – 195.418

Current RQS: 195.310
Road Score 1: 196.600
Road Score 2: 195.975
Road Score 3: 195.050
Road/Home Score 1: 195.600
Road/Home Score 2: 195.050
Road/Home Score 3: 194.875

Eastern Michigan got a 196.600 road score! Eastern Michigan is so the new Central Michigan. But, RQS being what it is, a big score is only valuable if you can do it twice. Right now, that score would be dropped, so it doesn’t really help until it happens again. Then, Eastern Michigan would be a serious thing.

22. Kentucky – 195.357

Current RQS: 195.325
Road Score 1: 195.800
Road Score 2: 195.525
Road Score 3: 195.175
Road/Home Score 1:196.050
Road/Home Score 2: 195.100
Road/Home Score 3: 195.025

23. Southern Utah – 195.317

Current RQS: N/A
Road Score 1: 195.250
Road Score 2: 194.100
Road Score 3: N/A
Road/Home Score 1: 195.975
Road/Home Score 2: 195.700
Road/Home Score 3: 195.600

24. Iowa – 195.272

Current RQS: 195.710
Road Score 1: 196.275
Road Score 2: 196.275
Road Score 3: 194.900
Road/Home Score 1: 196.650
Road/Home Score 2: 196.375
Road/Home Score 3: 194.725

Speaking of serious things, while we’ve been paying attention to George Washington and New Hampshire and their rises, Iowa suddenly emerged from being the 194 team we’ve always expected to get 196s in the last four consecutive meets, two at home and two on the road. A first-meet 192 is the only thing keeping the ranking and average down for the time being, but look at that RQS and how it’s better than most of the RQSs here. With five meets left and just two scores to get rid of, Iowa is a serious threat to the top 15 if not the top 12. Pay attention to this one.

25. Illinois – 195.263

Current RQS: 195.170
Road Score 1: 195.700
Road Score 2: 195.500
Road Score 3: 195.075
Road/Home Score 1: 195.150
Road/Home Score 2: 195.125
Road/Home Score 3: 195.000

Sigh. Probably the biggest disappointment of the early season to see all these 195s for a team with O’Connor, Kato, Horth, and Leduc just to name a few. Still six meets left?

9 thoughts on “Week 6 Rankings + RQS Outlook”

  1. I have to admit I'm confused– you seem to be working with a different RQS for Florida than you have written here. For example, you say “the Sooners are running away with RQS right now, over four tenths ahead of any other team”, but if Oklahoma's RQS is 197.428 and Florida's is 197.258, that's less than a two tenths difference. Then you say that if RQS were being used now, Alabama would be in 2nd place, even though 196.959 is less than Florida's 197.258… when I tried figuring out the RQS from your scores, I got 197.075 for Florida, which is different from the score you listed but also doesn't fit either of your statements about Oklahoma or Alabama… so… I'm confused! Help me out? 🙂

  2. Per a previous post over at the gym board, you are correct and RQS ranking will be used starting next week on the Road to Nationals site.

  3. It's actually impossible for Georgia, Alabama and Stanford to end up in the same regional — both Georgia and Alabama are hosting this year.

    Now seeing Georgia, Stanford and Michigan in the same regional competing at Athens would be awesome. Let's throw in Missouri or Minnesota as well (or maybe Iowa). 😉

    Cal just received a GIANT 196.800 on the road at Arizona State (the home team had a high 194 score as well, which is really good for them). Toni-Ann won the AA with a 49.700.

  4. And Boise State is doing this without Sarah Means on her best events. Does anyone know if she's going to be back on ANYTHING ELSE this season?

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