Week 7 Rankings + RQS Update

RQS has officially taken over, which means the rankings look quite different than they did last week when they were based on average, but not too different from what we saw in last week’s RQS primer. Florida got a vital away score, LSU is ranked artificially low because of a nasty away score that’s still hanging around, and a number of teams bumped up their RQS totals by dropping ugly scores yet didn’t quite get the boost they would have hoped. Enjoy!

Also, I go on a little mid-ranking rant about hypersensitivity! So that’s fun. Enjoy turning on me. 

Ashleigh Gnat got a 10 on floor this week, adding to her nation-leading total of three. Other than that, it was once again a week of 9.975s, with Winston and Brannan going back-to-back for Alabama on bars, Sloan getting one on floor, and Stover reaching the mark on beam. Among others?

Also, Kyla retired from elite today. So that’s suddenly big news. I should probably have something to say about that. It sounds like the smart decision since Rio was looking less and less and less likely with the passing months. Now, she’ll avoid putting her body through the ringer of a Trials process and heal up as much as possible for a UCLA team that desperately needs someone without a case of elite-injured-forever. 

Week 7 rankings
1. Oklahoma – 197.595

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: 197.375

The Sooners scores a relatively paltry 197.375 at Georgia over the weekend. Slackers. That counts as bad for Oklahoma, a result of a couple missed vault landings and suddenly strictly judged floor routines. You can certainly justify the scores that were given to those floor performances, but the argument that those scores were out of step with the rest of the meet and the general looseness of floor scoring this season is a valid one. The consequence of that garbage shame of a 197.375 is that what used to be a nearly 0.500 RQS advantage over Florida has shrunk to just about 0.250. It’s still comfortable, but no longer dominant, and Florida will view the #1 ranking as much more attainable now.

2. Florida – 197.355

Road Score 1: 197.750
Road Score 2: 197.075
Road Score 3: 196.825
Road/Home Score 1: 198.175
Road/Home Score 2: 197.675
Road/Home Score 3: 197.450

Much of last week, I spoke about how important it was for Florida to get a huge away score over the weekend to close that gap with Oklahoma, and that’s exactly what Florida did. Now, we’ll all just acknowledge the fact that Bridget Sloan had two landing hops on floor and the judges just threw roses at her and shouted, “Encore! Bravissima!” instead of taking deductions, and the questions about Florida’s ability to keep pace on floor remain. Still, 197.750. No slouch of a score. Mission #1 accomplished, but Florida will still need to replicate that performance in the two remaining road meets in order to have a shot at #1 and drop the distinctly un-Florida score still in the RQS picture.

3. Alabama – 197.195

Road Score 1: 197.525
Road Score 2: 197.300
Road Score 3: 197.250
Road/Home Score 1: 197.375
Road/Home Score 2: 197.175
Road/Home Score 3: 196.875

Alabama had an RQS lead on Florida going into the week and had a real shot at #2 but was not able to gain as much after getting stuck on the 9.850s for three events, though a huge bars score lifted the total up to 197.300, a respectable enough total and one that keeps Alabama squarely in the hunt for a finish somewhere 3-5. Counting two 197.3s, however, will make it harder to move up any higher than 3rd given what Oklahoma and Florida are counting so far. Right now, I would classify Alabama as the deepest team in NCAA, but the difference between qualifying to Super Six and challenging for the title will be decided by whether this is just a team with a billion 9.850 options or a team with a billion 9.850 options, from which emerge 12+ 9.9 options.

4. Michigan – 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

The Michigan beam disaster. Is it 2012 already? PTSD flashbacks. This score will be dropped and is best forgotten forever. My motto about beam is that disasters aren’t something to worry about until they happen twice. This is the second time, so gentle concern might be arising. But no more than that yet. It was a bit troubling, though, that the errors did compound themselves. The back of the lineup appeared to lose composure after the early mistakes, ending is uncharacteristically weak showings from Artz and Chiarelli, who should be the bam-bam, confident 9.9s at the back of the lineup who save the total even in tense circumstances. 

With the dropped score, Michigan’s RQS stays the same, which makes the total a little more vulnerable to the likes of LSU, Utah, and UCLA. Still, both bold scores are perfectly fine right now, and with three road meets remaining, there’s time to get a few more. Michigan’s scores are tightly packed enough that even with a season high next weekend at Oklahoma, they have no chance to move up any higher than 4th. The mission will be holding off the challenging hordes.

5. Utah – 196.850

Road Score 1: 197.150
Road Score 2: 197.075
Road Score 3: 196.725
Road/Home Score 1: 197.150
Road/Home Score 2: 197.125
Road/Home Score 3: 196.175

Utah will be relatively happy with the performance at Stanford, one that was largely steady if marked by a few more missed dismounts on bars and checks on beam, but will not be particularly happy with the total. The big 197.5s that it takes to challenge the top remain out of reach. Still, Utah has that 196.1 hanging around the RQS picture, and we can expect that score to be eradicated next week barring disaster, which puts the team in contention to catch Michigan even with another normal, medium performance.

The Utes also got in a tiny morsel of fake internet trouble over the weekend by tweeting something along the lines of “three people go to Stanford’s meets, and a million people go to our meets. Neener-neener-neener.” I paraphrase. It was basically that. Apparently, this was shocking and offensive to people because of the wild hypersensitivity of college gymnastics. Was it kind of snarky and ignoble? Yeah. And that’s fine. That’s good. A little trash talk between teams/fans is healthy. It’s hardly harsh or mean-spirited. There’s nothing wrong with some G-rated rivalry and animosity to throw a spark into proceedings. This is a sport of adults after all, not a little girl dance recital presentation where everyone is happy for everyone, hard as some might try to make it that way. But of course, this is college gymnastics, so anything exhibiting a shred of personality, honesty, or the acknowledgment that this is actually a competition among passionate athletes who are in no way required to be supportive best friends must be removed immediately.

It’s like when Stanford went to Oklahoma a few years ago and then had a minor twitter rant about the insane scoring, then had to delete it and apologize because heaven forbid someone say something publicly that isn’t entirely positive. Or when Taylor Rice came on Gymcastic with us and then got in trouble for having a personality and giving honest impressions about the crazy scores. Breaking news: this is all fine. Have an opinion. Care. Create rivalries. Talk trash. Snark. Disagree. Be excited. Be salty. Cheer. Boo. Raise a hullabaloo. Root for outcomes, not just for everyone to hit/have a good time. Otherwise, how can you expect anyone to treat this like a real sport? Positivity is not exclusively a virtue and negativity is not exclusively a vice. If you’re an LSU fan, rooting for Florida to fall on beam or trip while doing a Gator chomp is not mean-spirited and not something to be ashamed of. It’s just sports. Inherent in wanting your team to succeed is wanting other teams to fail, and gymnastics needs to stop pretending that’s not true and stop pretending that it’s something inappropriate, unattractive, or shameful. It just is. Not everyone needs to come away from everything feeling great and supported all the time.

If the Sophina viral incident taught us anything, it’s that gymnastics makes waves when it loosens up and shows a side that isn’t in line with the prim and reserved reputation it has. So loosen up.  

6. UCLA – 196.810

Road Score 1: 196.925
Road Score 2: 196.800
Road Score 3: 196.675
Road/Home Score 1: 197.475
Road/Home Score 2: 197.100
Road/Home Score 3: 196.550

Great, now am I going to have to have a rant about every team?

UCLA’s RQS zooms up this week because the Bruins were able to drop an ugly 195, but they would have hoped for a higher score this weekend that a 196.675. Big results on beam and floor helped save the meet, but lackluster landings on the first two events kept the total out of the much-needed 197-road-score territory. 196.675 is OK, but with just one road meet left, UCLA is already guaranteed to count two scores in the 196s, making the current #6 position somewhat precarious if these lower-ranked SEC teams go on scoring tears.

7. LSU – 196.750

Road Score 1: 196.800
Road Score 2: 196.750
Road Score 3: 195.825
Road/Home Score 1: 197.825
Road/Home Score 2: 197.425
Road/Home Score 3: 196.950

LSU finally broke though over the weekend for a massive 197.825 that we all knew was coming sooner or later. LSU should be ranked about 4th right now, but that nasty result from the Las Vegas meet is still hanging around, pulling the team down for the moment. Next weekend, LSU goes to Florida. Both teams basically have already scored a 198 in that meet, so expect LSU to jump up and challenge for a spot in the top 4 with another hit meet. With three road meets remaining, there’s still time to LSU to get rid of all of those 196s, so the RQS outlook is pretty strong.

8. Auburn – 196.495

Road Score 1: 197.125
Road Score 2: 196.825
Road Score 3: 196.175
Road/Home Score 1: 197.275
Road/Home Score 2: 196.275
Road/Home Score 3: 196.075

A gap is forming between the top 7 and the rest, but the gap is not necessarily permanent. Auburn suddenly turned into a different team three weeks ago, and if these 197s continue, Auburn has a solid chance to go higher, with bold scores better than what both Utah and UCLA are guaranteed to count so far. The Tigers have two home meets, a Georgia meet, and the SEC Champs remaining on the schedule, so the potential for 3-4 more big scores is certainly there.

9. Arkansas – 196.315

Road Score 1: 196.700
Road Score 2: 196.150
Road Score 3: 196.150
Road/Home Score 1: 196.700
Road/Home Score 2: 196.600
Road/Home Score 3: 195.975

Arkansas keeps plugging away with those low 196s. Coming off another even but not overwhelming result against Maryland, Arkansas appears unlikely to challenge for a ranking position higher than #9 but also appears like a better and better bet to hold onto a coveted top-12 spot. We’ve seen teams ranked throughout the teens put up high 196s as well, but they’re also throwing in stinkers that Arkansas isn’t, making them much more vulnerable.
10. Georgia – 196.310

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: 196.750
Road/Home Score 3: 196.400

The Georgia Narrative Game is my favorite game in college gymnastics this season. Ostensibly, this isn’t a good week for the Georgia narrative, stepping right back to early February with a loss and counting a beam fall. Then again, the team total was a still-useful 196.750, the team’s third-highest of the season, and the only scored guaranteed to count right now is that excellent 197.5. That’s not to pretend that things are rosy for Georgia right now. How much confidence do we really have that this team can hit a postseason beam rotation? But, with five meets remaining and a 195 that should be no trouble to eliminate, Georgia is more than alive for a final ranking much higher than #10. Next weekend’s meet is away at Alabama. The original rivalry. With Georgia once again under big beam pressure. Yes, please.

11. Boise State – 196.185

Road Score 1: 196.425
Road Score 2: 196.400
Road Score 3: 196.275
Road/Home Score 1: 196.300
Road/Home Score 2: 196.250
Road/Home Score 3: 195.700

Boise State recorded its fifth-straight 196 over the weekend and is clearly playing the steady game as well as another other team in NCAA right now. The Broncos (Broncos, right?) are in a similar, though less secure, position to Arkansas in that they’re putting up solid numbers but are somewhat at the mercy of teams with higher ceilings that may or may not get their acts together. There are plenty of teams able to knock Boise State down, but they aren’t necessarily going to because of the sheer number of sightings of the 195 monster. Either way, this Boise State team is setting itself up as a solid spoiler reminiscent of that 2011 team.

12. Stanford – 196.045

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: 195.875
Road/Home Score 3: 195.750

Stanford was able to stay afloat over the weekend by dropping a 194.800, but the 195.875 was far from the score the team would have wanted from a must-hit meet. Stanford counted a bars fall, which is bad for any team but even worse for a Stanford roster that heavily relies on big bars and beam scores. Now, with three meets left, Stanford is guaranteed already to count a low 196. It’s not the end of the world, but it increases the pressure on the remaining three scores all to be excellent and ensures that the teams in adjacent ranking positions smell blood. Stanford can certainly still Stanford and suddenly throw out Ivana Hong in the AA at regionals and be all perfect, but every 195 makes a #3 seeding look more and more possible.  

13. Denver – 196.005

Road Score 1: 196.350
Road Score 2: 196.125
Road Score 3: 196.000
Road/Home Score 1: 196.675
Road/Home Score 2: 195.900
Road/Home Score 3: 195.650

Denver’s 196.350 from Saturday doesn’t necessarily stand out, but it’s the team’s highest away score of the season and was accomplished while counting a 9.625 from NINA MCGEE for an OOB floor routine, a score that they’d almost always be able to count on for three tenths more than that. At this point, Denver’s outlook is quite similar to Stanford’s, which is impressive for a school without nearly the same expectations or pedigree, and while the top 10 will be out of reach, making some serious ranking noise remains a realistic proposition with five meets still remaining, compared to most teams with three or four.

14. Nebraska – 195.955

Road Score 1: 196.350
Road Score 2: 196.150
Road Score 3: 195.350
Road/Home Score 1: 196.775
Road/Home Score 2: 196.100
Road/Home Score 3: 195.825

You’re killing me, Nebraska. The Huskers lost to NC State over the weekend, scoring a low 195 after Jennie Laeng got an 8.5 on bars and then scratched the rest of the meet. That meant Nebraska had to pull a Nebraska and put up just five on vault and floor, resulting in a counted floor fall. Having only five available to go on floor, even after a fall when the team desperately needed an extra hit, is particularly troubling because Nebraska looked to have more depth on floor this year with gymnasts like Orel and Schweihofer contributing helpful routines, but suddenly both of those routines were MIA. Dear. Similar to Stanford, counting low 196 road scores is not ideal for a team with Nebraska’s expectations and puts the team in a vulnerable positions with just one road meet remaining, with the added problem of a super-low road score that must be removed to have any realistic shot at avoiding an unfortunate regional placement.

14. Cal – 195.955

Road Score 1: 196.900
Road Score 2: 195.650
Road Score 3: 195.575
Road/Home Score 1: 196.825
Road/Home Score 2: 196.375
Road/Home Score 3: 195.350

The tale of two teams this year. One minute, Cal is all WE’RE THE BEST, and the next minute they’re all 195.300. The two bold scores are excellent, but that’s only worth so much with 195s still on the record. Nonetheless, Cal Regional Upset Watch is probably more realistic this year than it has ever been in the past. 

16. Missouri – 195.900

Road Score 1: 196.050
Road Score 2: 195.825
Road Score 3: 195.200
Road/Home Score 1: 196.650
Road/Home Score 2: 196.625
Road/Home Score 3: 195.800

Missouri is ranked at #16 on the strength of big home scores, the most recent earned during a meet with undeniably fancy scoring for both teams. If Missouri is going to prove a true upset threat, those mid-196 scores must be reached on the road as well. If they can be, then all these teams ranked in the teens are vulnerable to be passed because bold 196.6s make any team formidable. 

17. Oregon State – 195.840

Road Score 1: 196.350
Road Score 2: 196.225
Road Score 3: 195.325
Road/Home Score 1: 196.850
Road/Home Score 2: 195.875
Road/Home Score 3: 195.425

Oregon State has no business being ranked 17th. It’s cause for concern, especially with two very low 195s still hanging around. The team has work to do, but the big home score against Cal is a step closer to what we expect from the team. In spite of being all the way down in the peasant parts of the rankings, the Beavs are still in the fight for a non-terrifying regional placement, but only if all these 195s go away, which means three big hits with complete lineups of 9.850s over the next four meets. At the very least. OSU has definitely left it to the last minute. How very Stanford of them.

18. Iowa – 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

Iowa had been nailing meets for a whole month of 196s, but everything finally came crashing down over the weekend in a meet made entirely out of falls. So, while Iowa does jump up the rankings now that RQS in in play, this was a missed opportunity to go even higher. Interestingly, Iowa has no 195s this year. It’s either 196 or 194. With two more 196s, this becomes another legitimately competitive team to challenge for the 1-12-13 regional, but which team is going to show up in the next four meets? The 196 team or the 194 team?

19. Minnesota – 195.695

Road Score 1: 196.300
Road Score 2: 196.075
Road Score 3: 195.525
Road/Home Score 1: 195.775
Road/Home Score 2: 195.675
Road/Home Score 3: 195.425

20. George Washington – 195.520

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: 195.400
Road/Home Score 3: 194.950

21. Eastern Michigan – 195.485

Road Score 1: 196.600
Road Score 2: 195.975
Road Score 3: 195.050
Road/Home Score 1: 195.750
Road/Home Score 2: 195.600
Road/Home Score 3: 195.050

22. Kentucky – 195.480

Road Score 1: 195.800
Road Score 2: 195.800
Road Score 3: 195.525
Road/Home Score 1:196.050
Road/Home Score 2: 195.175
Road/Home Score 3: 195.100

23. West Virginia – 195.420

Road Score 1: 195.250
Road Score 2: 195.250
Road Score 3: 195.200
Road/Home Score 1: 195.800
Road/Home Score 2: 195.800
Road/Home Score 3: 195.600

24. Illinois – 195.315

Road Score 1: 196.300
Road Score 2: 195.725
Road Score 3: 195.500
Road/Home Score 1: 195.150
Road/Home Score 2: 195.125
Road/Home Score 3: 195.075

25. Arizona – 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

*Note that Southern Utah does not currently have enough road meets to have an RQS and so temporarily drops off the rankings.

8 thoughts on “Week 7 Rankings + RQS Update”

  1. AMEN to your rant. A-freaking-men.

    It's sports, stop acting like everyone needs to be best friends and hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” together all the time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s