The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Things Are Happening – January 19, 2017

A. Weekend schedule

Friday, January 20
Scores Watch
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [23] Arkansas @ [16] Georgia LINK SECN
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [3] Florida @ North Carolina FLOG
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [11] Auburn @ [9] Kentucky SEC+
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [21] Minnesota @ Michigan State LINK BTN+
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Eastern Michigan @ Central Michigan LINK ESPN3
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Ball State, William & Mary @ [25] NC State LINK ACCN
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Western Michigan @ Kent State FREE
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – UW-La Crosse @ UW-Eau Claire
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Winona State @ UW-Oshkosh FREE
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – Lindenwood @ SEMO LINK
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – TWU @ [2] LSU LINK SEC+
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – [4] Alabama @ [8] Missouri LINK SECN
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Stanford @ Southern Utah FLOG
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Utah State @ BYU FREE
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [7] Denver, [15] Boise State, UIC @ [5] Utah P12
11:00 ET/8:00 PT – UW-Stout @ Alaska FREE
Saturday, January 21
Scores Watch
12:00 ET/9:00 PT – Yale @ Penn
12:00 ET/9:00 PT – Brockport @ Ithaca FREE
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – UW-Whitewater @ Gustavus Adolphus
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Northern Illinois, Seattle Pacific @ [19] Oregon State LINK P12
3:30 ET/12:30 PT – Cortland @ Cornell Ivy $
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [22] Iowa @ [18] Ohio State CSL $
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Maryland @ Penn State LINK FREE
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Pitt, Southern Connecticut @ New Hampshire
4:30 ET/1:30 PT – Illinois State @ Bowling Green
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Iowa State @ Arizona
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – UC Davis @ Arizona State P12
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [1] Oklahoma @ West Virginia LINK WVU
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [10] Nebraska, Brown, West Chester @ Rutgers LINK
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [17] Washington, San Jose State @ [13] Cal LINK P12
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [24] Sacramento State @ Air Force FREE
Sunday, January 22
Scores Watch
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Ursinus @ Temple FREE
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – [19] Illinois @ [12] Michigan LINK FREE
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – [14] George Washington @ Towson LINK FREE
Monday, January 23
Scores Watch
11:00 ET/8:00 PT – UW-Stout @ Alaska FREE

B. No live blogs this weekend

I’m abandoning you.


I know you’re really broken up about it. If you need to participate in group therapy about the wackadoo scoring or keep me apprised of important things that I should remember or complain about in the future, feel free to use the comments section on this page. Everything will be back to normal next week. Unless we’re all dead by then.

C. Sabrina Schwab

Joining the injury party that sprouted up in the last week, Sabrina Schwab tore her ACL in training and is done for the season (early enough that she can redshirt 2017). Where this hurts Utah most is everywhere, putting more pressure on Missy Reinstadtler to get into scoring form on multiple events. Utah can’t ease her in slowly anymore. I expect Reinstadtler to slide into Schwab’s spot on beam, and in the long run, they’ll likely want Reinstadtler in Schwab’s spot on bars as well, though in the short term they can use Kari Lee.

Floor is often Schwab’s best score, though pre-injury Kari Lee was recording similar numbers, so ideally she’ll be back to floor at some point to maintain the same pace there. Tessen also seemed an encouraging floor option in preseason. Vault presents another problem because Schwab had a 10.0 start. Presumably, Rowe will jump into the lineup, but she does not have the same peak score. For the moment at least, Utah just got a couple tenths weaker.

But, isn’t it so much more helpful when teams reveal this information publicly instead of futilely attempting to keep it secret for unexplained reasons?

D. The meets

Arkansas @ Georgia
Arkansas is in trouble without Wellick, and even though falling apart on bars is what sunk the score last weekend, it’s becoming harder and harder to put together full vault and floor lineups. As for Georgia, let us know if beam is really fixed so we can move on to worrying about the competitiveness of those bars and floor lineups.

Florida @ North Carolina
North Carolina is hosting a Nike #BeTrue rainbow-colored meet to celebrate diversity with an emphasis on big ol’ mos and how much we’ve made everything better and how we’re, like, human people or something? That’s verbatim the press release. I can’t think of another gymnastics program that has done this, which is weird because…you’re gymnastics. So just, tweet about it and make it super successful, OK?

Auburn @ Kentucky
Kentucky is the higher ranked. Weird, huh? Let’s see how realistic that ends up being. You want to be a top 10 team, Kentucky? Then beat Auburn. You’re the favorite now.

Alabama @ Missouri
This is also Missouri’s opportunity to test its level against major competition. In this case, Missouri won’t be expected to win and likely won’t come all that close, but where does Missouri fall by comparison? It will be Missouri’s first meet where the upper echelons of the scores are occupied by another team, a good barometer.

Stanford @ Southern Utah
It’s Southern Utah’s season opener (huh? It’s January 20th. That’s like March) against Stanford. I like Southern Utah’s chances this year, so Stanford will have to legitimately start pulling itself together to get a win. If Price is well, it should get better. Except for floor. That still looks like a nightmare.

Denver, Boise State, UIC @ Utah
Three top-15 teams in the same quad meet. Denver is in a similar position to Missouri, scoring well so far this season but for the first time heading into a meet without the luxury of being the best team there. It’s a weekend of significant tests for these new top-10 upstarts. Utah remains a clear favorite, though it just got a little more interesting with the injury to Schwab.

Illinois @ Michigan
Illinois impressed in its most recent home meet, showing the level of bars routines that made this team a peripheral nationals contender in the past, so this may not be a total walk for Michigan. Michigan has yet to put together a hit meet, so that must be the aim.

UCLA, Oklahoma, LSU
UCLA is on a break this week because it’s all just too much, while Oklahoma and LSU should cruise through their meets, simply working against the score of one another as they try to rush the 198s with as much force as possible.

E. GymCastic

This week, we round up the major news from NCAA meets over the weekend, with particular attention paid to the increasingly insane storylines behind floor routines this season. Then we take it to the next level. As we are wont to do. We’re like floor routine whisperers.

F. Beam routine of the week

For this week’s routine, I’m going a little more recent (although can you believe this was five years ago?) with Megan Ferguson’s beam routine, the set that made Oklahoma beam a thing. Do you think she does her layout stepout to one knee in order to propose marriage to gymnastics?


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