The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

2017 Preseason Coaches Poll

Road to Nationals has released the annual coaches poll for the 2017 season in which the coaches did a pretty good job of copying and pasting last year’s final rankings and then bumping up all of their friends. Can you imagine if we had to care about a sport where this kind of stuff…mattered?

On a scale from 1 to agreed with me, I’d give the coaches a solid 7. It’s sort of a January Yurchenko full of a showing. The silver lining is we know what we have to work on.


  • Sadly, no random 1st-place votes for Boise State this year. A real shame. This is also why we can’t do a poll of college gymnastics sites. We’re all too sarcastic. We would be like, “1. Oshkosh.”

  • Six teams received 1st-place votes, the six you would expect. As the defending champion that also just got all Nicholsed, Oklahoma took the top spot in a predictable landslide. The only disagreement the coaches and I have in our top-six rankings is flip-flopping Alabama and Florida, and that little batch of schools is all just a mishmash anyway.
  • I do notice that the coaches failed to jump on the Southern Utah and Bowling Green bandwagons that I tried to start. Poor showing. But also Southern Utah is under-ranked here. The big conferences look out for their own. And by their own, I mean their press releases.
  • There do seem to be a few reactions to roster changes here (Florida falling to fifth and getting just two first place votes, Georgia at 9th in spite of making Super Six), but typically the coaches poll mimics last year’s results and historical reputation and doesn’t really take into account current changes in roster, hence a team like Minnesota seeming a little high, or Illinois staying in the top 25 despite last year’s struggles, or Penn State staying in the top 25 despite…that whole thing?
  • Changes in coach are usually reflected much more in the rankings than changes in competitors (because…the coaches), like Florida not getting ranked #1 last year in spite of being the three-time reigning champion, or Eastern Michigan receiving exactly no reward for almost making nationals last year with a 34th place this time around.
  • I’m pleased that RTN has so many coaches participating in the poll again. A couple years ago, we had about 30 coaches participating, and this year it’s over 70.
  • Anything else jump out?



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