The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Week 10 Rankings and Final RQS Scenarios

Here we are. The week before conference championships. Just one meet left to change your ranking and get to a less horrible position. At this point, we know the maximum RQSs and exactly where each team has a chance to end up in the rankings.

For reference, if the season were already over, the regionals placements would look like this:

Regional 1: Oklahoma, Kentucky, Nebraska (host)
Regional 2: LSU, Boise State, Missouri (presumed host: Arkansas)
Regional 3: UCLA, Oregon State, Washington (host)
Regional 4: Florida (host), Michigan, Cal
Regional 5: Utah, Georgia, Iowa (presumed host: Illinois)
Regional 6: Alabama, Denver, George Washington (presumed host: West Virginia)

For the presumed hosts, I just kind of guessed based on general geography.

The regionals tiebreaker for seeds/qualifying is the highest score that isn’t being used among the 6 for RQS.

In case you were curious, this year at regionals the #1 seeds will begin on bars, the #2 seeds will begin on vault, and the #3 seeds will begin on a bye before floor. That means the #1 seeds end on a bye (ughughughughughughugh), the #2 seeds end on floor, and the #3 seeds end on beam.

equal-sign-clip-art-5pypjt-clipart 1. Oklahoma 198.000
Road Score 1 198.350
Road Score 2 198.175
Road Score 3 198.075
Home/Road Score 1 198.025
Home/Road Score 2 197.925
Home/Road Score 3 197.800
MAX RQS: 198.110
  • Oklahoma has clinched the final regular-season #1 ranking and the #1 overall seed at regionals, also becoming only the second team ever to hit an RQS of 198. It will take 198.100 at the Big 12 Championship to set a new RQS record.
equal-sign-clip-art-5pypjt-clipart 2. LSU 197.785
Road Score 1 197.700
Road Score 2 197.700
Road Score 3 197.675
Home/Road Score 1 198.150
Home/Road Score 2 197.975
Home/Road Score 3 197.875
MAX RQS:  197.880
  • As has been the case pretty much the whole season, LSU is safe and warm at #2 and cannot move. Their goal at SECs is not about ranking; it’s about beating Florida.
green-up-arrow 3. UCLA 197.500
Road Score 1 197.500
Road Score 2 197.325
Road Score 3 197.150
Home/Road Score 1 198.125
Home/Road Score 2 197.800
Home/Road Score 3 197.725
MAX RQS:  197.695
  • UCLA jumped ahead of Florida by a whisker on Sunday. The Bruins can go no higher, but with a very similar RQS to Florida and a very similar score left to drop, the final #3 ranking will essentially come down to whichever team scores better at the conference championship. With a slightly higher maximum, UCLA has control.
reddownarrow 4. Florida 197.495
Road Score 1 197.425
Road Score 2 197.325
Road Score 3 197.125
Home/Road Score 1 197.975
Home/Road Score 2 197.900
Home/Road Score 3 197.700
MAX RQS:  196.665
  • See: UCLA. These teams are likely set to finish 3-4, with a chance of dropping to #5, but whether getting the #3 ranking is even a good thing or not depends on how the second and third seeds end up shaking out.
equal-sign-clip-art-5pypjt-clipart 5. Utah 197.355
Road Score 1 197.600
Road Score 2 197.150
Road Score 3 196.900
Home/Road Score 1 197.875
Home/Road Score 2 197.625
Home/Road Score 3 197.500
MAX RQS: 197.550
  • Utah lost ground to UCLA after a low score at Georgia, so while it’s still possible for Utah to pass UCLA and/or Florida, it would take relatively average performances at conference championships from those schools to make it possible along with a season high from Utah. UCLA or Florida would have to go under 197.4 for there to be a chance.
equal-sign-clip-art-5pypjt-clipart 6. Alabama 197.285
Road Score 1 197.700
Road Score 2 197.225
Road Score 3 197.050
Home/Road Score 1 197.825
Home/Road Score 2 197.350
Home/Road Score 3 197.100
MAX RQS:  197.440
  • Alabama could move up to #5 after conference championships but is guaranteed to finish no worse than #6, which means our top seeds at the six regionals are already confirmed.
green-up-arrow 7. Denver 197.040
Road Score 1 197.150
Road Score 2 196.900
Road Score 3 196.875
Home/Road Score 1 197.150
Home/Road Score 2 197.150
Home/Road Score 3 197.125
MAX RQS:  197.095
  • In the endless back-and-forth between Denver and Georgia, it was Denver’s turn to come out ahead this week, though with a lower ceiling than the following three teams, DU could be set for a drop after conference championships. Still, Denver is set to finish no worse than 10th, meaning that they will get a #2 seed and will avoid those pesky  1-12-13 and 2-11-14 trouble clusters.
reddownarrow 8. Georgia 197.005
Road Score 1 196.975
Road Score 2 196.925
Road Score 3 196.800
Home/Road Score 1 197.325
Home/Road Score 2 197.250
Home/Road Score 3 197.075
MAX RQS: 197.110
  • With a higher maximum than Denver, Georgia has an opportunity to move back ahead after conference championships, but unlike Denver, Georgia could fall as low as 12th if things go exactly as horribly as possible for them. That, however, is an unlikely scenario. Much more likely, Georgia will also stay somewhere from 7-10.
green-up-arrow 9. Michigan
Road Score 1 197.150
Road Score 2 196.475
Road Score 3 196.025
Home/Road Score 1 197.825
Home/Road Score 2 197.525
Home/Road Score 3 197.225
MAX RQS:  197.240
  • Michigan shot back up into the top 10 after finally being able to get rid of that low road score. With another rather low road score to get rid of, Michigan is in the driver’s seat when it comes to which team finishes 7th and gets into that (relatively) cushy 6-7-18 regional. The Wolverines can clinch that spot with a 197.300 at Big Tens. On the other hand, it’s also possible for Michigan to fall as low as 12th, but having a 196.025 still to drop means that Michigan is much more likely to move up than to fall.
reddownarrow 10. Oregon State 196.875
Road Score 1 197.125
Road Score 2 196.825
Road Score 3 196.200
Home/Road Score 1 197.475
Home/Road Score 2 197.325
Home/Road Score 3 196.900
MAX RQS:  197.130
  • Oregon State is another team that can fall no lower than 12th and is therefore guaranteed a #2 seed. But with a higher maximum RQS, OSU would be able to challenge Georgia and Denver with a big score at Pac-12s and should be able to fend off all the schools ranked below given a reasonably hit meet.
reddownarrow 11. Boise State
Road Score 1 197.075
Road Score 2 196.700
Road Score 3 196.675
Home/Road Score 1 197.675
Home/Road Score 2 197.025
Home/Road Score 3 196.700
MAX RQS:  197.035
  • Because of the evenness of Boise State’s counting scores and lower maximum than the teams ranked above, it will be difficult for BSU to move up much or avoid those 1-12-13 and 1-11-14 regionals, even with a strong performance at MRGCs. Most likely, they’re looking at having to beat out a similarly ranked team and will just hope to avoid hosts like Nebraska and Washington.
equal-sign-clip-art-5pypjt-clipart 12. Kentucky 196.750
Road Score 1 196.950
Road Score 2 196.925
Road Score 3 196.150
Home/Road Score 1 197.475
Home/Road Score 2 197.100
Home/Road Score 3 196.625
MAX RQS:  197.015
  • Kentucky technically has the ability to move up and challenge some of those higher-ranked #2 seeds, but it would require at least a high 196 and probably a 197 to do so. Is that kind of score going to be attainable in the day session of SECs? In this regard, Boise State (and to a lesser extent Nebraska) may have an edge because they’ll be among the top-scoring teams at their conference championships. Their performances will define the scoring ceilings at those meets, whereas Kentucky’s will not, which makes it harder to get a big number. What Kentucky wants to avoid is the current setup, having to go to Nebraska and beat Nebraska. They’d rather be paired with Boise State or Missouri.
equal-sign-clip-art-5pypjt-clipart 13. Nebraska 196.640
Road Score 1 197.125
Road Score 2 196.650
Road Score 3 196.550
Home/Road Score 1 197.125
Home/Road Score 2 196.825
Home/Road Score 3 196.050
MAX RQS:  196.855
  • Nebraska’s ranking could go as high as 11th or as low as 16th depending on how things go at conference championships, with the most likely outcome placing them as the dangerous #3-seed host everyone wants to avoid. Being a host gives Nebraska some degree of comfort, but they really don’t want to fall 15-16 and be in the position of having to beat a Michigan or a Georgia. Even at home, that’s a tough ask.
green-up-arrow 14. Missouri 196.540
Road Score 1 196.750
Road Score 2 196.350
Road Score 3 196.225
Home/Road Score 1 197.200
Home/Road Score 2 197.150
Home/Road Score 3 196.225
MAX RQS:  196.735
  • Missouri can’t get a #2 seed but is guaranteed a #3 seed, so there’s not a whole lot riding on the score at conference championships other than which #2 seed they’d rather be placed with. The current rankings would assure that Missouri avoids hosts Nebraska and Washington, giving them an LSU-Boise State-Missouri regional, which would be the dream scenario. So basically, Missouri wants the scoring at conference championships to suddenly be super harsh so that everyone scores a 2 and nothing changes.
reddownarrow 15. Washington 196.480
Road Score 1 196.450
Road Score 2 196.450
Road Score 3 195.825
Home/Road Score 1 197.175
Home/Road Score 2 196.925
Home/Road Score 3 196.750
MAX RQS:  196.750
  • Theoretically, Washington could go as high as tying Kentucky for 12th after conference championships, but that’s not going to happen. Washington will be a #3 seeded host and is in the same position as Nebraska, hoping to move up enough to avoid any #2 seeds that would be super difficult to beat even at home.
equal-sign-clip-art-5pypjt-clipart 16. Iowa 196.400
Road Score 1 196.550
Road Score 2 196.400
Road Score 3 196.175
Home/Road Score 1 196.725
Home/Road Score 2 196.475
Home/Road Score 3 196.400
MAX RQS:  196.510
  • Iowa is in good position for a #3 seed right now but is not completely  safe yet because of the possibility of being passed by Cal, Southern Utah, and George Washington, falling to an unfortunate 19th. It will take 196.350 at the Big Ten Championship for Iowa to assure itself a regional seed.
green-up-arrow 16. Cal 196.400
Road Score 1 196.800
Road Score 2 196.400
Road Score 3 195.725
Home/Road Score 1 197.075
Home/Road Score 2 196.775
Home/Road Score 3 196.300
MAX RQS:  196.670
  • At an equal RQS, Cal is in the exact same position as Iowa, solid but not yet completely safe. Because of a lower score left to drop, however, Cal needs to record only 195.900 at Pac-12s to clinch a seeded spot at regionals, which really should be no problem.
equal-sign-clip-art-5pypjt-clipart 18. George Washington
Road Score 1 196.725
Road Score 2 196.375
Road Score 3 196.150
Home/Road Score 1 196.500
Home/Road Score 2 196.400
Home/Road Score 3 196.100
MAX RQS:  196.430
  • GW currently sits in the seeded places but is in a tough position because Southern Utah is quite likely to move up and because GW’s max RQS is lower than that of all the other potential seeds. To get a spot in the top 18, GW essentially needs to get a season high at EAGLs and hope Iowa, Cal, and Southern Utah all botch their meets during conference championships.
green-up-arrow 19. Southern Utah
Road Score 1 196.600
Road Score 2 195.800
Road Score 3 195.675
Home/Road Score 1 197.025
Home/Road Score 2 196.725
Home/Road Score 3 196.700
MAX RQS:  196.570
  • Southern Utah missed an opportunity to move up by recording a non-counting score against BYU, but the lowish 195 still hanging around means SUU has the advantage in the race to get a regionals seed, which can be clinched with a 196.325 at the conference championship.
reddownarrow 20. Illinois 196.245
Road Score 1 196.625
Road Score 2 196.150
Road Score 3 196.050
Home/Road Score 1 196.550
Home/Road Score 2 196.450
Home/Road Score 3 196.025
MAX RQS:  196.365
  • Illinois currently retains an outside, outside shot at a seed, but it’s not really in Illinois’s control. Both GW and SUU would have to record unusable scores, and Illinois would have to score close to or at a season high. The most likely scenario would see Illinois as a very dangerous, floater host that no one wants to draw.
reddownarrow 21. Auburn
Road Score 1 196.450
Road Score 2 196.400
Road Score 3 195.800
Home/Road Score 1 196.300
Home/Road Score 2 196100
Home/Road Score 3 196.075
MAX RQS:  196.265
  • Auburn has been eliminated from contention for a seeded place at regionals and will be placed geographically, though that still doesn’t tell us a lot because geographical placements are always tentatively linked to reality at best. You can’t place everyone close to home. Some teams will end up traveling quite far anyway.
equal-sign-clip-art-5pypjt-clipart 22. West Virginia
Road Score 1 196.100
Road Score 2 195.950
Road Score 3 195.800
Home/Road Score 1 196.300
Home/Road Score 2 195.950
Home/Road Score 3 195.800
MAX RQS:  196.020
  • The whole of this next batch of teams is in a consequence-free limbo heading into conference championships scoring. They can’t get seeded, but they’ve also already qualified to regionals. Since we’ve done away with #4, #5, and #6 seeds and are placing only “geographically,” nothing they do in the next meet will change their regional-placement fate. The upcoming performance is more about how threatening they might look for a regionals upset, particularly in the case of a host like West Virginia.
reddownarrow 23. Utah State
Road Score 1 196.200
Road Score 2 195.725
Road Score 3 195.700
Home/Road Score 1 196.300
Home/Road Score 2 195.850
Home/Road Score 3 195.675
MAX RQS:  195.955
equal-sign-clip-art-5pypjt-clipart 24. Ohio State
Road Score 1 196.450
Road Score 2 195.950
Road Score 3 195.475
Home/Road Score 1 196.075
Home/Road Score 2 195.800
Home/Road Score 3 195.775
MAX RQS:  196.010
equal-sign-clip-art-5pypjt-clipart 25. Eastern Michigan
Road Score 1 196.225
Road Score 2 195.925
Road Score 3 195.400
Home/Road Score 1 196.000
Home/Road Score 2 195.950
Home/Road Score 3 195.750
MAX RQS:  195.970
green-up-arrow 26. Arkansas
Road Score 1 196.375
Road Score 2 195.350
Road Score 3 195.275
Home/Road Score 1 196.275
Home/Road Score 2 196.150
Home/Road Score 3 195.825
MAX RQS: 195.995
  • Back from the dead, Arkansas is moving up and could legitimately break back into the top 25 after SECs.
reddownarrow 27. New Hampshire
Road Score 1 196.075
Road Score 2 195.300
Road Score 3 195.275
Home/Road Score 1 196.450
Home/Road Score 2 196.050
Home/Road Score 3 196.025
MAX RQS: 195.980
green-up-arrow 28. Kent State
Road Score 1 196.125
Road Score 2 195.725
Road Score 3 195.550
Home/Road Score 1 196.425
Home/Road Score 2 195675
Home/Road Score 3 195.525
MAX RQS: 195.900
green-up-arrow 28. Iowa State
Road Score 1 196.600
Road Score 2 196.125
Road Score 3 195.725
Home/Road Score 1 195.775
Home/Road Score 2 195.625
Home/Road Score 3 195.350
MAX RQS: 195.970
reddownarrow 30. Arizona
Road Score 1 196.275
Road Score 2 195.650
Road Score 3 195.525
Home/Road Score 1 196.100
Home/Road Score 2 195.850
Home/Road Score 3 195.425
MAX RQS: 195.880
reddownarrow 31. Stanford
Road Score 1 196.275
Road Score 2 195.775
Road Score 3 194.175
Home/Road Score 1 196.325
Home/Road Score 2 195.925
Home/Road Score 3 195.900
MAX RQS: 195.695
  • Somehow, by some sort of miracle, Stanford has clinched a spot at regionals (though it is still possible for Stanford to finish exactly 36th if other teams get the major results they need, which is insane). The question really is whether Stanford remains a legit upset threat, or if that’s just a preconception based on name. Last weekend’s 193 did not bode well.
green-up-arrow 32. Penn State
Road Score 1 196.200
Road Score 2 195.450
Road Score 3 194.550
Home/Road Score 1 195.925
Home/Road Score 2 195.850
Home/Road Score 3 195.525
MAX RQS: 195.790
  • Here we arrive at the section of teams that are not yet safe and still have work to do to qualify to regionals. Penn State’s position, however, is still pretty good. It would require a score of only 194.900 to clinch a spot at regionals regardless of the performance of other teams.
green-up-arrow 32. BYU
Road Score 1 195.450
Road Score 2 195.000
Road Score 3 194.850
Home/Road Score 1 196.425
Home/Road Score 2 196.350
Home/Road Score 3 195.650
MAX RQS: 195.685
  • A mid-195 on Monday took BYU from a tie for 35th to a much more comfortable tie for 32nd. The work isn’t done yet, but a 195.200 at the MRGC Championship would confirm the spot at regionals.
equal-sign-clip-art-5pypjt-clipart 34. North Carolina
Road Score 1 195.675
Road Score 2 195.525
Road Score 3 195.400
Home/Road Score 1 195.875
Home/Road Score 2 195.625
Home/Road Score 3 194.925
MAX RQS: 195.620
  • North Carolina did its job against UCLA, though the task to keep this position for one more week is not an easy one. UNC will need 195.425 at EAGLs to guarantee a spot at regionals.
reddownarrow 35. Maryland
Road Score 1 195.450
Road Score 2 195.275
Road Score 3 195.225
Home/Road Score 1 195.800
Home/Road Score 2 195.625
Home/Road Score 3 195.475
MAX RQS: 195.525
  • After a weak showing at the Big Five, Maryland is suddenly in a much more dangerous and unfortunate position when it comes to qualifying because of this low max RQS. Maryland’s fate does not lie in its own hands. If BYU, Central Michigan, and Minnesota all come out with season highs, Maryland cannot advance to regionals regardless of the score at Big Tens. It will be a day of watching results and hoping the teams ranked below count falls.
equal-sign-clip-art-5pypjt-clipart 36. Central Michigan
Road Score 1 195.775
Road Score 2 194.950
Road Score 3 194.125
Home/Road Score 1 196.575
Home/Road Score 2 196.375
Home/Road Score 3 195.625
MAX RQS: 195.860
  • CMU sits right on the edge of falling out of the regionals spots, but that counting 194.125 provides for a misleadingly low ranking. There’s still plenty of work to do at the conference championship, but CMU can control its own regionals fate and would clinch a spot with just 194.925.
reddownarrow 37. Minnesota
Road Score 1 196.075
Road Score 2 194.900
Road Score 3 194.825
Home/Road Score 1 196.800
Home/Road Score 2 196.050
Home/Road Score 3 194.900
MAX RQS: 195.745
  • Minnesota is currently not in the regionals spots, you guys. How did this happen? A fairly healthy picture was rendered the opposite of that after another 194 at the Big Five, meaning Minnesota has to bring it at Big Tens to continue its season. A fairly high max RQS does, however, mean that Minnesota also still controls its own fate and can qualify outright regardless of the results of other teams, but it would take 195.725 at Big Tens.
reddownarrow 38. Western Michigan
Road Score 1 195.575
Road Score 2 195.475
Road Score 3 195.300
Home/Road Score 1 195.475
Home/Road Score 2 195.200
Home/Road Score 3 194.900
MAX RQS: 195.405
  •  Western Michigan is still hanging on by a thread in the quest to make regionals, though that opportunity is very dependent on Central Michigan and Minnesota both doing poorly at conference championships and not increasing their RQSs while WMU also scores on or around a new season high. It could happen, but it’s not the most likely result.
reddownarrow 39. Michigan State
Road Score 1 194.775
Road Score 2 194.650
Road Score 3 194.600
Home/Road Score 1 195.625
Home/Road Score 2 195.600
Home/Road Score 3 195.550
MAX RQS: 195.240
  • Michigan State has been officially eliminated from contention for regionals, as has every other team ranked #40-#82.

Full rankings at RTN.

In summary, our top six seeds are already set. They could change order, but they won’t change their statuses as #1 seeds. We’ve still got a bit of a mess around the border between the #2 seeds and the #3 seeds, but it basically boils down to Washington and Nebraska hosting regionals and in a clawing fight against a team in the Boise State, Kentucky, Missouri collective to see who gets the second spot along with a heavily favored #1 seed. Regardless of how the teams end up being paired, that will be the most exciting part of regionals day.

Iowa, Cal, George Washington, Southern Utah, and Illinois will go to battle for the final three seeded places, with Cal, Southern Utah, and Iowa having the inside tracks because of higher maximum scores.

For qualification to regionals in the top 36, it comes down to Penn State, North Carolina, Maryland, BYU, Central Michigan, Minnesota, and Western Michigan competing for the final five spots. Two will fall short.

Detailed previews of the major conference championships will come later in the week.

Unheralded stars of the week
Gymnasts from schools outside the top 25 who scored over 9.900

Brianna Comport, Bridgeport – Beam 9.950 (Tuesday), 9.925 (Friday)
Classic Comport. Her rankings on both beam and floor will qualify her to regionals (presumably the WV regional) as an individual, where she will have to beat every person ever born to have a shot to make nationals, but could. She will certainly enter as the favorite to win both pieces at USAG nationals, where she finished 2nd on beam, 3rd on floor, and 2nd as a team last season.

Rachel Stypinski, Kent State – Beam 9.950
Jordan Hardison, Kent State – Floor 9.925
Stypinski ranks 9th on floor and 11th on beam and will travel to regionals with her team and a serious chance to make nationals as an AAer or an event specialist. Last season, Stypinski missed qualifying for BB by .025 and for floor by .050.

Maddy Cindric, Arizona – Beam 9.925
Krysten Howard, Arizona – Beam 9.925
Beam was all the highs and all the lows for Arizona this week, featuring three scores under 9.6 but also these two 9.925s. Arizona is unlikely to prove a major spoiler threat at regionals this year, but having Cindric back in the AA makes that a lot more realistic.

Jamyra Carter, Northern Illinois – Bars 9.950
Carter has been exclusively a bars specialist all four years at NIU and currently ranks 13th. She’s another that will be competing at regionals without a team and whom we’ll have to remember to keep an eye on for individual qualification.

Amanda Fillard, NC State – Bars 9.925
Chelsea Knight, NC State – Bars 9.925
It all just sort of fell apart for NC State there, didn’t it? The home 196 that these bars scores achieved couldn’t make up for road scores that never broke the 195 barrier. Depending on where she gets placed, Knight will be a contender for an AA spot at nationals, currently ranked 34th. 

Hailey Garner, Arkansas – Bars 9.925
Presumably the first of many. Garner’s bars and beam will be a big part of Arkansas restoring itself next season.

Emma Cullen, Penn – Bars 9.925
Penn! It hasn’t been a great season for Penn in the rankings, currently last of the Ivies, but it has been an improvement over last season, and a score of 192.450 this weekend would give Penn its highest RQS since 2004.

Tyra McKellar, Towson – Floor 9.925
Towson just missed on on being a reasonable contender to make regionals, but with McKellar’s bars and floor scores that hit the 9.9s and a very competitive group of beamers, all of whom are returning next season, there’s reason for optimism. 

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