A. Weekend schedule
|Friday, January 27
|6:30 ET/3:30 PT – North Carolina @ Pitt||LINK||ACCN|
|6:30 ET/3:30 PT – Bridgeport @ Brown|
|7:00 ET/4:00 PT –  Auburn @  Florida||LINK||SEC|
|7:00 ET/4:00 PT –  LSU @  Kentucky||LINK||SEC+|
|7:00 ET/4:00 PT –  Missouri @  Georgia||LINK||SEC+|
|7:00 ET/4:00 PT –  Southern Utah @  NC State||LINK||ACCN|
|7:00 ET/4:00 PT – UW-Oshkosh @ Centenary||LINK||CTVT|
|7:30 ET/4:30 PT –  Oklahoma @ Iowa State||LINK||ISU|
|8:30 ET/5:30 PT –  Alabama @  Arkansas||LINK||SEC|
|9:00 ET/6:00 PT –  Boise State v. BYU|
|10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Hamline @ Seattle Pacific||FREE|
|Saturday, January 28
|1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Penn @ West Chester|
|1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Springfield @ Brockport||FREE|
|4:00 ET/1:00 PT –  Nebraska @  Michigan||LINK||FREE|
|4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Bridgeport, Southern Connecticut, Rhode Island @ Yale||Ivy|
|4:30 ET/1:30 PT –  Utah @  Washington||P12|
|4:30 ET/1:30 PT –  UCLA @  Oregon State||LINK||P12|
|5:00 ET/2:00 PT –  Ohio State @ Minnesota||LINK||BTN+|
|5:00 ET/2:00 PT – UW-La Crosse, Winona State @ Lindenwood||LINK||FREE|
|5:00 ET/2:00 PT – UW-Eau Claire @ UW-Whitewater||LINK||FREE|
|7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Michigan State, Cornell, Ursinus @ Rutgers||LINK|
|7:45 ET/4:45 PT – Metroplex Challenge ( George Washington, Central Michigan, Bowling Green, San Jose State)||FLOG|
|9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Arizona State @  Cal||LINK||P12|
|Sunday, January 29
|1:00 ET/10:00 PT –  Kentucky @ Ball State||FREE|
|1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Eastern Michigan @ Western Michigan||ESPN3|
|1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Utah State @ New Hampshire|
|2:00 ET/11:00 PT –  Denver, Towson, Temple @  West Virginia||LINK||FREE|
|2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Kent State, SEMO @ Northern Illinois||NIU|
|2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Iowa State @ TWU||LINK||FREE|
|3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Penn State @  Illinois||FREE|
|3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Maryland @  Iowa||Iowa|
|3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Air Force @ Centenary|
|4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Arizona @ Stanford||LINK||P12|
|4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Sacramento State @ UC Davis||LINK||FREE|
|5:00 ET/2:00 PT –  Alabama v.  Auburn (@ Birmingham, AL)||LINK|
|7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Illinois-Chicago @ Illinois State||FREE|
B. The weekend of horrendous scheduling
Thanks, NCAA gymnastics. Your everything is terrible.
Friday begins with five simultaneous meets involving significant teams. Oh, just the five. I’m sort of glad Oklahoma’s meet is behind a paywall since it takes one of the options off the table that we don’t have to bother pretending to pay attention to. So then it’s just the three SEC meets and Southern Utah, suddenly a top-10 team. Easy. We won’t succumb to hysterical hallucinations at all.
The SEC Network took Auburn/Florida and Alabama/Arkansas for its TV meets because, before the season started, you’d pick those as the best of the SEC meets of the day. But now, LSU/Kentucky and Missouri/Georgia look far more consequential and compelling, so get out all your pairs of eyes. You’ll need them.
Saturday is just as bad, with the best Big Ten meet of the year in Nebraska/Michigan running simultaneously with Utah/Washington and UCLA/Oregon State. Great. Hooray for a divided audience!
C. Meet notes
- Auburn doesn’t yet have a usable score for RQS, but heading on the road to Florida in the first of two weekend meets is a ripe opportunity for a hefty total.
- Kentucky isn’t expected to match LSU (let’s not get too crazy), but based on recent scores, they should be able to make a meet of this one instead of the usual trouncing. Last week, Kentucky went just 0.375 lower than LSU.
- Morgan Porter’s torn Achilles undermines (higher-ranked!) Missouri‘s chances against Georgia, though they did get by without her in the first meet of the year for a 196. Besides terror-beam, a story in this meet will be bars. Georgia is somewhat vulnerable there, and Missouri would need to take advantage if they’re going to win of their own merit rather than relying on Georgia beam.
- Last weekend, Southern Utah decided not to let Missouri and Kentucky have all the 196 fun, debuting the much-anticipated beam routine from Jorgensen and Y1.5 from Madison McBride for lineup-leading scores. What happens now at an away meet? A test of realness.
- For fantasy gym purposes, remember that Alabama has two meets this weekend, and it’s Alabama. So, lineup plan with caution. For some reason, we still haven’t figured out how to get that Alabama/Auburn podium meet on TV. Guess we’ll have to find out about it via telegraph again.
- Meet of the weekend: Nebraska @ Michigan. Michigan pulled it together last weekend for a 197, and a repeat of that should be enough for victory, but Nebraska has a small pack of 9.850-capable AAers that will make it difficult. Michigan managed huge scores in the last meet on bars, which had looked like a point of vulnerability, so a repeat of that is critical to putting the meet out of reach.
- Utah and UCLA should both come out of their Pac-12 openers ahead of Washington and Oregon State respectively, but it’s also UCLA so who knows? Washington was one hit floor routine away from a 196 last weekend at Cal, so reaching 196 is a reasonable goal this time around. UCLA has had a week off to use to start looking a little more prepared and 197y, which will be necessary against an Oregon State team coming off a home 196.900. Short floor dismounts won’t cut it this time.
- Don’t forget Arizona/Stanford on Sunday. They’re both unranked, so it might be easy to miss, but it should be a……if not a good one, then at least…a one?
D. American Cup catastrophe
The gleam of the original American Cup roster has officially left the honeymoon phase and entered the inevitable acrimonious divorce and prescription-drug phase. Thorsdottir is out and will be replaced by Titarsolej, so basically cancel your entire life and return to the cave. And now, an ankle injury has rendered Ellie Black a maybe. Don’t be that surprised in a month’s time when a mason jar full of uncooked barley and a domesticated goose are introduced next to Ragan Smith.
This week, our dear Ruby Harrold told Jessica all about her history with exciting bars skills, how she ended up going to LSU, and how mature and diplomatic she can be when talking about the culture shock of moving to Jesustown USA. She handled that topic really professionally.
Amy Smith, the associate head coach at UNC, also talked about their BeTrue meet from last weekend, how the team responded, how damn well it went, and what a gem she is.
F. Dan Keatings
Dan’s hairline officially announced its retirement this week, though it had been transitioning toward retirement for a while now, taking on a commentary role with Her Tweddleship in the last couple years. Dan won the 2009 AA silver, but once he stopped ranking as a top AAer for GB, he found it difficult to make squads because his most useful piece is horse yet his routine doesn’t score as well as Whitlock’s or Smith’s. In any other country, he would have made more teams.
G. Week 3 routine poll
As of writing, Nicole Artz leads MyKayla Skinner by 23 votes. Feel free to continue taking this way too seriously. It’s very entertaining.
H. Beam routine of the week
Ashley Kelly came up this week because her 2006 AA score of 39.875 previously stood as the last time a gymnast reached that total before Maggie Nichols did so on Saturday. (As was correctly pointed out, Kupets did score 39.900 in her farewell Super Six in 2009, which always goes unrecorded because individual titles aren’t awarded for Super Six.) This is one of Kelly’s three career beam 10s, bestowed during the scoring wild west that was 2004.