Links will be added as they become available.
|Friday, January 5||Scores||Stream|
|5:30 ET/2:30 PT –  Alabama @  Michigan||LINK||ESPNU|
|6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Bowling Green @ Michigan State||LINK||BTN+
|7:00 ET/4:00 PT –  Florida @ West Virginia||LINK||FREE|
|7:00 ET/4:00 PT –  George Washington, Ball State, SEMO @  Kentucky||LINK||SECN+|
|8:30 ET/5:30 PT –  Arkansas @  LSU||LINK||SECN|
|9:00 ET/6:00 PT – BYU @  Utah||LINK||P12N|
|Saturday, January 6||Scores||Stream|
|2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Illinois State @ Central Michigan||LINK||CSN($)|
|4:00 ET/1:00 PT –  Eastern Michigan @ Penn State||LINK||FREE|
|4:00 ET/1:00 PT – UW-Eau Claire @ Gustavus Adolphus||LINK|
|6:00 ET/3:00 PT –  Auburn,  Iowa, Iowa State @ Arizona State||LINK||P12+|
|6:00 ET/3:00 PT –  Denver @ Arizona||LINK||LINK|
|7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Hamline @ UW-Oshkosh||FREE|
|7:30 ET/4:30 PT – Maryland, New Hampshire, Temple @ Towson|
|7:30 ET/4:30 PT – Minnesota Intrasquad||LINK||BTN+
|8:00 ET/5:00 PT – UW-La Crosse @ Air Force||FREE|
|9:00 ET/6:00 PT –  Ohio State @  UCLA||LINK||P12N|
|Sunday, January 7||Scores||Stream|
|2:00 ET/11:00 PT – NC State, Illinois-Chicago @ Northern Illinois||LINK||NIU($)|
|Monday, January 8||Scores||Stream|
|9:00 ET/6:00 PT –  Cal, UC Davis, Sacramento State, San Jose State @  Stanford||P12+|
*Meets marked ESPNU, SECN, or P12N will be broadcast live on TV and may also be streamed online for those who have cable-subscriber log-ins or subscriptions to participating Sling, Roku whatnots.
*Meets marked SECN+ may be streamed on the WatchESPN app for those who have cable-subscriber log-ins or subscriptions to participating Sling, Roku whatnots.
*Meets marked P12+ may be streamed through the Pac-12 Network website or app and do not require a corresponding subscription.
*Meets marked BTN+/FLO may be streamed either through a paid subscription to BTN+ ($10/month) or a paid subscription to FloGymnastics ($30/month).
*Meets marked FREE are streamed through school-specific services and require no log-in or subscription fee.
#4 Alabama @ #7 Michigan
An excellent selection to kick off the season, the Alabama/Michigan meet should be a legitimate competition between peers—not like all these other routs. Let’s be honest. Most expect Alabama to end up as the better team this season, but based on each side’s respective preseason preview (Michigan on December 3rd, Alabama on December 8th), Michigan looked the better of the two. Alabama has had a month since then to make up the gap, but work had to be done in that intervening month.
Alabama’s vaults – We saw no 10.0 starts on December 8th. With Michigan looking to put up three 10.0s, Alabama will need to have at least Guerrero and Desch out there with their 1.5s to keep pace. And what of Graber, and Dickson, and the Guerra Omelianchik Project? We still have several Alabama vault questions, and this meet will be an opportunity to answer them.
Michigan’s floor – The significant change in lineup identity for Michigan this year comes on floor. The early-season concern is whether the performances will all be a little 9.850y without enough replacement 9.9 options, which wouldn’t keep the Wolverines on track with top teams…like Alabama.
The Bailie Key situation – Perhaps the most anticipated of all freshman debuts in 2018 comes from the circa-2013 Savior of All Things, one Miss Bailie Key, partially because it has been so, so long since we’ve seen competition gymnastics from her, but also because her preseason has been kind of…do you have routines other than beam? An anxious gymternet eagerly awaits.
What to watch
Schedule changes – Apparently it’s like “winter” or something on the east coast, which has resulted in a few schedule shuffles. New Hampshire and Rutgers will no longer be traveling to Arizona for the meet on Saturday (which will now be a dual meet with Denver). Instead, New Hampshire jumped in on the meet at Towson, while Rutgers said, “Naw we good. **Immediate Pajamas**.” Rutgers will open the season next weekend instead.
January surprises – The January surprise is a hallowed tradition of NCAA gymnastics, wherein gymnasts who are starting academically in January can finally be added to rosters officially and unveiled to the public. Here’s a rundown of the January surprises (and not-so-surprises):
Kentucky – Ella Warren – Freshman
Kentucky is making a habit of blooping in last-minute freshmen after Mollie Korth last season and now Ella Warren this season. Warren will disrupt the “just keep last year’s lineups the same” outlook for Kentucky as she is a viable AAer, scored 9.700 at JO Nationals for a Yurchenko 1/1 on vault, and has the chops to be a beam star.
UCLA – Brielle Nguyen – Junior transfer
Nguyen disappeared from the Illinois roster in the offseason and has now landed at UCLA as a transfer. She competed BB and FX regularly for Illinois, with a peak score of 9.900 on both in 2017.
Cal – Emi Watterson – Freshman
Watterson was an Australian elite who has lovely elements on beam and quite a lot of difficulty on bars and can make some lineups for Cal.
Auburn – Skyler Sheppard – Junior transfer
Sheppard was granted release from Arizona after last season and has made her way to Auburn. Sheppard recorded some of Arizona’s best scores on vault, beam, and floor last season before injury and could figure on any of them for Auburn, just depending on consistency.
Iowa State – Natalia Ros Vaquer – Freshman
You might remember Ros from worlds in 2015, where she competed for Spain. She performed AA in qualification, recording the team’s second-highest total on bars and floor. She has lots of difficulty on bars that can be sculpted into an NCAA set but could quite believably make several lineups.
January surprise, bad version – Vanasia Bradley, a freshman at Florida, has already medically retired. She had not done any gymnastics in any preseason meets and has been out for a casual century with 7000 different injuries.
Debuts – It’s not just Key getting out and competing again. Friday will also see the debuts of elites Alyssa Baumann and Jazzy Foberg for Florida and Christina Desiderio for LSU, where in all cases it’s still somewhat uncertain what lineups they’re going to make. Then on Saturday, Nia Dennis will emerge from her cocoon for UCLA, where we have fewer questions about what lineups she’ll be in because it needs to be all of them.
Farther along? – We’ve heard this preseason that UCLA is a month farther along in training (floor in particular) than in past seasons, but the proof will be in actual competition performances. The Bruins have a reputation for somewhat “the silver lining is that now we know what we have to work on” opening meets, so watch to see if there’s a difference this year from previous seasons. UCLA hasn’t gone higher than 196.625 in an opening meet since 2005.
Stanford – I don’t mean to alarm you, but Stanford is producing a live stream of a home meet, and the link is available multiple days in advance. Where…am I? #RIPThatSpreadsheet. Cal will enter the NorCal quint as the favorite, but the Stanford unveiling of Bryant, Flam, Navarro, and Lawson will be fascinating. Whether Stanford has a real team this season will depend on those freshies.
Tentative lineups – A few more teams are getting on the bandwagon with releasing the tentative lineups in advance of the weekend. It is much appreciated.
|exh. Schou||exh. Glynn|