Who Is Going to Make Super Six?

Are you still alive? Maybe? Ish?

The extended frigid hellscape that was regionals day is now squarely behind us, with all the Michigan tears and Stanford celebration dances accounted for, and if you were able to emerge from that 58-millenium barrage of meets and marathon of interminable bye rotations without passing out and deciding that you hate gymnastics now, you’re the winner.

For a recap of all the action you may have missed, or seen, or intentionally got amnesia about, or found infuriating, be sure to listen to this week’s episode of Gymcastic. I join Jessica and Uncle Tim to go through the day regional by regional to speculate about whether the Iowa regional was judged by three lemons and the concept of winter, argue over the merits of the handspring-onto-the-springboard vault, and warn that in spite of what you may have heard from your friends, the Stanford Rhythm Method is not a reliable form of making nationals. Among other topics. Get ready.

For the moment, let’s look toward nationals. We know our semifinalists, and the rotation order has been released, so it’s time to get a-speculatin’. 

It was probably going to be the case anyway, but the Michigan upset has left what looks to be a golden opportunity for several teams to snatch the third spot out of the first semifinal, assuming that Florida and LSU are the favorites. After all the terrors of this season, has Georgia become the pick to advance? The Gymdogs get to start on beam again. Nothing like a high-budget dystopian horror comedy to start the day. But they hit beam at regionals! Kind of! They did enough! Hooray!

Few of the rotation assignments jump out as particularly disastrous for any of these teams, though I do think that Stanford benefited from finishing on its good events at regionals and will have the opposite order here, starting with events that need to score massively and finishing on events that are unlikely to. Stanford will need the judges to be willing to flash the 9.900-9.950s right from the first routine of the first session because Stanford really must get 49.5s on bars and beam.

In the coming days, I’ll delve into more detailed prognostication about the semifinals, Super Six, and whether we even care about the individual competitions anymore, but for today, let’s set things up with a glance at the numbers. Which are the key events to watch if we’re looking for an upset? And who’s capable of pulling it off? Categories in which a team places in the top three in the session (a qualifying spot) are highlighted. 

SEMIFINAL 1

FLORIDA
Regional score: 196.725 [3]
RQS: 197.795 [1]
Regular season average: 197.502 [1]  
Season high: 198.175 [1]

VT regional score: 49.225 [3]
VT RQS: 49.420 [2] 
VT average: 49.341 [2]
VT season high: 49.500 [3]

UB regional score: 49.125 [4]
UB RQS: 49.500 [1] 
UB average: 49.439 [1]
UB season high: 49.650 [1] 

BB regional score: 49.300 [1]
BB RQS: 49.430 [1]
BB average: 49.318 [1] 
BB season high: 49.525 [3]

FX regional score: 49.075 [4]
FX RQS: 49.505 [2]
FX average: 49.405 [2] 
FX season high: 49.675 [2]

Florida should be the heaviest favorite in the first semifinal and settles in comfortably in the top three here in every category except those pertaining to that lackluster regionals performance. It’s worth treating as just an odd blip for now that shouldn’t compromise our expectations of Florida making it out of this semifinal safely and easily, but it doesn’t help in the race to catch Oklahoma.
 

LSU
Regional score: 197.300 [1]
RQS: 197.695 [2]
Regular season average: 197.209 [2]  
Season high: 197.925 [2]

VT regional score: 49.400 [1]
VT RQS: 49.445 [1]
VT average: 49.395 [1]
VT season high: 49.550 [1]

UB regional score: 49.300 [2]
UB RQS: 49.370 [2] 
UB average: 49.252 [2]
UB season high: 49.475 [3] 

BB regional score: 49.150 [3]
BB RQS: 49.355 [2] 
BB average: 49.141 [2] 
BB season high: 49.575 [2]

FX regional score: 49.450 [1]
FX RQS: 49.545 [1]
FX average: 49.420 [1] 
FX season high: 49.700 [1]

LSU goes all blue here because of a much stronger (and more charitably scored) regionals performance than Florida. There were some definite benefit-of-the-doubt scores, including Ewing’s 9.975 for an under-rotated 1.5 and Gnat’s floor 9.950 in spite of bouncing out of her final pass. Still, it would take a repeat of last season’s beam debacle to keep LSU out of Super Six, largely because of what the team can make up on vault and floor. Between Florida and LSU, the competition sets up pretty cleanly and clearly in that LSU has been the stronger vault and floor team and Florida has been the stronger bars and beam team (on non-regionals-type days), so determining which advantage is more valuable will be something to watch in this semifinal with an eye toward how these teams might fare in Super Six. 

AUBURN
Regional score:  196.525 [4]
RQS: 197.150 [3]
Regular season average: 196.692 [3]  
Season high: 197.325 [6]

VT regional score:  49.150 [5]
VT RQS: 49.250 [4] 
VT average: 49.167 [4]
VT season high: 49.375 [4]

UB regional score: 49.125 [4]
UB RQS: 49.295 [3] 
UB average: 49.215 [3] 
UB season high: 49.375 [6] 

BB regional score: 48.850 [6]
BB RQS: 49.215 [3] 
BB average: 49.042 [4] 
BB season high: 49.300 [6]

FX regional score: 49.400 [2]
FX RQS: 49.445 [3]
FX average: 49.269 [4] 
FX season high: 49.600 [4]

GEORGIA
Regional score: 196.850 [2]
RQS: 197.010 [4]
Regular season average: 196.462 [4]  
Season high: 197.525 [3]

VT regional score: 49.275 [2]
VT RQS: 49.415 [3] 
VT average: 49.283 [3]
VT season high: 49.525 [2]

UB regional score: 49.250 [3]
UB RQS: 49.280 [4] 
UB average: 49.165 [4]
UB season high: 49.400 [5]

BB regional score: 49.025 [5]
BB RQS: 49.180 [6]
BB average: 48.694 [6] 
BB season high: 49.425 [4]

FX regional score: 49.300 [3]
FX RQS: 49.385 [4]
FX average: 49.315 [3] 
FX season high: 49.625 [3]

Georgia finishes in the top 3 in more categories than Auburn, primarily due to Georgia’s superior regionals performance. Neither team had a phenomenal meet, but Georgia’s three post-beam events reflected a team that is quite capable of making Super Six out of this session. Auburn, meanwhile, won the coveted, definitely-very-important regular-season fight with Georgia to see which team would make the evening session at SECs. Georgia v. Auburn with a side of Stanford is setting up as the most entertaining part of semifinal day, barring the inevitable meltdown.

Critically, Auburn did worse than Georgia on beam at regionals. Surely that can’t be repeated in the semifinals if Auburn is going to qualify. And it all comes back to Georgia’s beam once again…

MINNESOTA
Regional score: 196.175 [6]
RQS: 196.495 [5]
Regular season average: 196.090 [6]  
Season high:  197.425 [4]

VT regional score: 49.175 [4]
VT RQS: 49.120 [5] 
VT average: 48.975 [6] 
VT season high: 49.275 [5]

UB regional score: 48.950 [6]
UB RQS: 49.180 [6] 
UB average: 48.963 [6]
UB season high: 49.425 [4] 

BB regional score: 49.150 [3]
BB RQS: 49.185 [5] 
BB average: 49.021 [5] 
BB season high: 49.675 [1]

FX regional score: 48.900 [6]
FX RQS: 49.270 [5]
FX average: 49.131 [5]
FX season high: 49.375 [5]

Of the 12 qualified teams, Minnesota is the least likely to advance to Super Six, though the Gophers do snatch a couple of blue spots thanks to Mable and Nordquist on beam, the duo that seriously helped them stay ahead of Denver at regionals. 

STANFORD
Regional score: 196.525 [4]
RQS: 196.355 [6]
Regular season average: 196.148 [5]  
Season high: 197.400 [5]

VT regional score: 48.800 [6]
VT RQS: 49.120 [5] 
VT average: 49.013 [5]
VT season high: 49.250 [6]

UB regional score: 49.500 [1]
UB RQS: 49.230 [5] 
UB average: 49.130 [5]
UB season high: 49.525 [2] 

BB regional score: 49.250 [2]
BB RQS: 49.195 [4] 
BB average: 49.088 [3]
BB season high: 49.375 [5]

FX regional score: 48.975 [5]
FX RQS: 49.050 [6]
FX average: 48.918 [6] 
FX season high: 49.250 [6]

The numbers bear out what we all already know about Stanford. When Stanford is having a good day, the bars and beam rotations can be a force and can contend with any team, but even though Stanford was able to overcome vault and floor to get out of a messy regional, can what is basically a two-event team + Ebee really put up a score viable enough to get out of a semifinal? 

SEMIFINAL 2

OKLAHOMA
Regional score: 197.575 [1]
RQS: 197.920 [1]
Regular season average: 197.588 [1]  
Season high: 198.075 [1]

VT regional score: 49.275 [1]
VT RQS: 49.415 [1] 
VT average: 49.356 [1]
VT season high: 49.475 [1]

UB regional score: 49.575 [1]
UB RQS: 49.575 [1] 
UB average: 49.467 [1]
UB season high: 49.675 [1] 

BB regional score: 49.425 [1]
BB RQS: 49.445 [1] 
BB average: 49.362 [1] 
BB season high: 49.550 [2]

FX regional score: 49.300 [3]
FX RQS: 49.575 [1]
FX average: 49.404 [2] 
FX season high: 49.700 [1]

ALABAMA
Regional score:  197.125 [2]
RQS:  197.400 [2]
Regular season average: 197.042 [2]  
Season high:  197.750 [2]

VT regional score: 49.225 [3]
VT RQS: 49.355 [2] 
VT average: 49.260 [2]
VT season high: 49.425 [2]

UB regional score:  49.275 [3]
UB RQS: 49.405 [2] 
UB average: 49.283 [3]
UB season high: 49.600 [2] 

BB regional score: 49.150 [3]
BB RQS: 49.320 [3] 
BB average: 49.142 [4] 
BB season high: 49.550 [2]

FX regional score: 49.475 [1]
FX RQS: 49.445 [3]
FX average: 49.356 [3] 
FX season high: 49.500 [4]

UTAH
Regional score: 197.125 [2]
RQS: 197.205 [3]
Regular season average: 196.970 [3]  
Season high: 196.675 [3]

VT regional score: 49.250 [2]
VT RQS: 49.255 [3] 
VT average: 49.200 [3]
VT season high: 49.400 [3]

UB regional score: 49.350 [2]
UB RQS: 49.395 [3]
UB average: 49.323 [2]
UB season high: 49.550 [3] 

BB regional score: 49.225 [2]
BB RQS: 49.290 [4] 
BB average: 49.168 [3] 
BB season high: 49.450 [4]

FX regional score: 49.300 [3]
FX RQS: 49.485 [2]
FX average: 49.280 [4]
FX season high: 49.625 [2]

The picture is clearer here. This looks to be the tougher of the two semifinals and poses a bigger challenge to the bottom three seeds. Based on recent performances, Oklahoma is pulling away from everyone, even the closest contenders like Florida and LSU, and Alabama and Utah look like the most convincing and least stressful choices among the remaining teams in this session. That outlook really hinges upon how influential UCLA’s beam and floor scores can be in trying to leap ahead of Alabama and Utah since vault and bars go to the top three seeds here in a landslide.

UCLA
Regional score:  196.375 [5]
RQS:  197.055 [4]
Regular season average: 196.782 [4]  
Season high:  197.475 [5]

VT regional score: 49.125 [4]
VT RQS: 49.180 [5] 
VT average: 49.084 [5]
VT season high: 49.375 [4]

UB regional score: 48.800 [6]
UB RQS: 49.235 [4] 
UB average: 49.105 [4]
UB season high: 49.350 [6] 

BB regional score: 49.050 [5] 
BB RQS: 49.325 [2]
BB average: 49.184 [2] 
BB season high: 49.575 [1]

FX regional score: 49.400 [2]
FX RQS: 49.430 [4]
FX average: 49.405 [1] 
FX season high: 49.600 [3]

UCLA is theoretically competitive with, if not stronger than, Alabama and Utah on beam and floor, but a repeat of the beam score from regionals would all but decide this competition and leave everyone waiting for a flurry of falls to somehow change the status quo. While it may not be quite as urgent as Stanford’s need on bars and beam, it’s tough to see UCLA advancing without exceeding RQS on beam and floor.

CALIFORNIA
Regional score: 195.925 [6]
RQS: 196.770 [5]
Regular season average: 196.230 [5]  
Season high: 197.500 [4]

VT regional score: 48.875 [6]
VT RQS: 49.185 [4] 
VT average: 49.086 [4]
VT season high: 49.225 [6]

UB regional score: 49.175 [5]
UB RQS: 49.150 [6] 
UB average: 48.936 [6]
UB season high: 49.475 [4] 

BB regional score: 48.900 [6]
BB RQS: 49.205 [6] 
BB average: 48.975 [6] 
BB season high: 49.350 [6]

FX regional score: 48.975 [6]
FX RQS: 49.295 [5]
FX average: 49.232 [5]
FX season high: 49.450 [6]

NEBRASKA
Regional score: 196.550 [4]
RQS: 196.635 [6]
Regular season average: 196.205 [6]  
Season high: 197.350 [6]

VT regional score: 48.925 [5]
VT RQS: 49.105 [6]
VT average: 48.991 [6]
VT season high: 49.275 [5]

UB regional score: 49.225 [4]
UB RQS: 49.180 [5] 
UB average: 49.016 [5]
UB season high: 49.475 [4] 

BB regional score: 49.125 [4]
BB RQS: 49.255 [5] 
BB average: 49.068 [5]
BB season high: 49.375 [5]

FX regional score: 49.275 [5]
FX RQS: 49.260 [6]
FX average: 49.130 [6] 
FX season high: 49.475 [5]

Nebraska was very steady in a somewhat strictly-evaluated regional, while Cal endured an off day to finish in the top two at its own, but the lack of blue categories for either raises the issue that they may not have the big rotation numbers it takes to emerge from a semifinal, the way UCLA might on beam and floor. Not since 2011 has a 196 been enough to qualify to Super Six, so the likelihood of hitting 197 must be the benchmark now.

Doesn’t this semifinal with Utah, UCLA, and Nebraska remind you of 2014 when Utah and UCLA were supposed to be battling for the final spot out of the second semifinal and then Nebraska just showed up on beam in that final rotation to go, “Oh wait, us.”

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