Week 2 Rankings

**Note: These rankings will differ from the official week 2 rankings because it seemed silly for me not to include the Oklahoma/Georgia meet that has already taken place, since this is going up a day late.

Oklahoma will not, however, have an official ranking until week 3, and LSU remains the official #1 for week 2.

 1. Oklahoma Sooners

Average: 197.550
Previous ranking: N/A

Oklahoma typically makes a point of starting the season with a level of preparation that evades most other teams, and 2018 is proving no exception. The Sooners had some mistakes and a few lineups that don’t look fully settled, but the 9.9s we know are still 9.9s and Anastasia Webb seems destined to be the all-arounder who makes up for lost routines from last season.

2. LSU Tigers

Average: 197.200
Previous ranking: 1

Taking the win over Florida at Florida will mean more than the score of 197.250, which LSU will expect to drop before we get to the end of the season. The Tigers’ second meet brought a more complete performance than the first, particularly with three hit 10.0 vaults appearing instead of just the one. Floor is the only event LSU lost to Florida and the one lineup that still appears in the most flux. We haven’t seen the postseason six yet.

3. Utah Utes

Average: 196.988
Previous ranking: 2

Utah fell to UCLA on Sunday, but by repeating a score around the 197 mark, kept its ranking fairly steady. The Utes did not expose many weaknesses in the Reno quad meet—for the most part another complete performance—though the question of beam composition will loom large. Utah (and the other teams) were given a few 9.9 start values for routines that are typically evaluated more charitably, but these things can happen when relying on front-to-back or dance combinations for significant value.

4. Michigan Wolverines

Average: 196.875
Previous ranking: 5

Michigan moves up in the rankings after a 197.550 score that was, for a quarter of a moment, the lone highest score in the country—until Oklahoma tied that mark. Vault proved the highlight of the meet, featuring three of the stronger Y1.5s performed in the young season. Judging by what the other teams are hoping to put out, continuing to perform those three 1.5s at that level could keep Michigan as a top-5 vaulting team in 2018.

5. UCLA Bruins

Average: 196.725
Previous ranking: 4

UCLA maintains a solid position, especially for a team with a reputation for starting slower, after a 197.200 and victory over Utah at the Reno quad meet. Critically, Hall hit her Y1.5 in competition (and Kramer hit her tucked 1.5 in exhibition), recovering from the vaultastrophe of the previous competition. Floor once again appeared the Bruins strongest event, more confident and consistent than bars and beam so far, because we’re living in the upside down.

6. Florida Gators

Average: 196.513
Previous ranking: 7

Florida will feel deflated after dropping a close one at home to LSU, though the meet did constitute a clear improvement over week one’s troubles. Kennedy Baker returned to the all-around, and the Gators were not forced to count a mistake, though they still performed with January raggedness pretty much across the board. Vault was the primary culprit for the loss, with uncontrolled landings and a second-consecutive week of Rachel Slocum’s yips, something Florida will have to resolve to be able to vault at the intended level. She’s essential.

6. Kentucky Wildcats

Average: 196.513
Previous ranking: 6

Kentucky’s big home score and near 197 on Friday helps keep pace with the big girls for another week. As has come to be expected, beam and Korth’s everything were the standouts, with Korth’s 39.525 ranking as a top-5 all-around performance of the weekend, led by a stuck Y1.5.

8. Denver Pioneers

Average: 196.288
Previous ranking: 8

We have seen far too much over the years to be too swayed by huge home scores, but the fact that Denver scored 196.800 while again counting a fall on bars provides ample cause for wariness from the other teams. Having to put up five on vault and floor in this meet, on account of a fairly high number of injuries for a small-roster team, remains cause for worry.

9. Boise State Broncos

Average: 196.225
Previous ranking: N/A

A successful debut meet has Boise State in the top 10 thanks to four 10.0 starts on vault (the team’s weakest-scoring event in 2017), a 39.425 all-around performance from Shani Remme, and 14 total scores of 9.8 or higher. The 196.225 mark set a new first-meet record for Boise State.

10. Alabama Crimson Tide

Average: 196.100
Previous ranking: 9

Alabama’s second competition of the season would have seemed a successful bounce-back meet for the Tide if not for the debacle on vault, where Desch was given a .5 penalty for going too early, followed by a lock-legged fall from Graber on a 1.5. That kept Alabama out of the 197s, but a glorious starring performance from Winston on the other three events put Alabama into the 196s nonetheless. Kiana Winston should be all the routines.

11. Arkansas Razorbacks

Average: 195.938
Previous ranking: 11

Arkansas may have lost at home to Kentucky, but 196.525 is a standard the team did not reach last season until regionals. To do that in the second meet in 2018 continues the case for optimism that this will be a recovery season, as does the emergence of Sophia Carter as a potential beam star with a team-leading 9.900.

12. Arizona State Sun Devils

Average: 195.575
Previous ranking: 14

Arizona State continues to be the talk of the NCAA because of what a seemingly sudden turnaround the program has made to start the season, recalling the transformation Cal went through not very many years ago. This week’s 196.475 was the highest score for ASU since 2007, which itself was just one year removed from 2006, the last season when Arizona State was good.

13. Georgia Bulldogs

Average: 195.563
Previous ranking: N/A

Well, that was weird. We would expect little less. Georgia barely endured a disastrous opening meet on Friday, where Gigi Marino suffered an Achilles injury, everyone on beam partied like it was 2016, and the sky—for all intents and purposes—fell. Things got better, and the ranking recovered, on Monday, as Georgia recorded a fully hit meet for 196.600. Still, the specter of doing without Marino and continuing to have to put up five on certain events will not be shaken off so easily.

14. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Average: 195.550
Previous ranking: N/A

Nebraska did show several highlights in what will otherwise be a forgettable score, particularly on vault, where some high-level, late-season landings produced an excellent total and provided indications that the Nebraska vault pedigree will be maintained. Counting a fall during an otherwise well-executed bars rotation took away the score, as did a spate of dance-element problems on floor.

15. Washington Huskies

Average: 195.538
Previous ranking: N/A

Washington competed twice over the weekend, showing improvement in the second outing—both in scores and consistency—to place ahead of Stanford at the Reno quad meet. Burleson competed the all-around at both competitions despite an abbreviated preseason, and Goings returned from injury to compete bars and beam on Sunday, both of whom gave Washington something closer to full-strength lineups than it appeared we might see early in the season.

16. Central Michigan Chippewas

Average: 195.450
Previous ranking: 3

It was never going to last. Central Michigan experienced the woes of competing on the road in its second meet of the year, counting a fall on floor and not coming close to reaching the 196ishness of the first week at home. But all told, 16th is still a very respectable ranking.

17. Iowa State

Average: 195.313
Previous ranking: 12

Iowa State used a string of high 48s to defeat Arizona over the weekend, but the mid-195 total was not enough to keep its ranking up amidst a number of other teams beginning to score 196s. The shining beacon of the competition was Haylee Young’s 39.450 in the all-around, leading the team on three events. 

18. Auburn Tigers

Average: 195.288
Previous ranking: 23

Auburn recorded one of the more successful results of the weekend with a 196.625 in victory over Missouri, but the 193 of the previous week meant the Tigers had too much to fight against and couldn’t move up very far in the rankings. Nonetheless, three significant hits from Milliet and a couple 9.900s from Day, Moss, and Cerio provided a road map for what a positive Auburn season will look like.

19. Arizona Wildcats

Average: 195.425
Previous ranking: 10

Arizona struggled in its second week, recording more 9.6s/9.7s than 9.8s on the road in a loss to Iowa State. Being without Jenny Leung put pressure on the vault and beam lineups to count scores they otherwise would not have, with just five vaulters able to compete.

20. West Virginia Mountaineers

Average: 195.150
Previous ranking: 16

West Virginia improved significantly on its first-meet performance, nearly hitting the 196 mark but nonetheless falling to Arizona State in a result that would still be characterized as an upset. The high numbers from Koshinski and Muhammad led the team, as they are expected to do, but it was counting a 9.6 on floor that eliminated WVU’s chance to catch Arizona State.

20. BYU Cougars

Average: 195.150
Previous ranking: 17

A huge result for the Cougars saw BYU break the 196 mark and upset Cal at the same time, recording unexpected 9.9s on beam and floor to pad the total and stay in the top 20, even after the previous weekend’s 194.

22. Stanford Cardinal

Average: 195.138
Previous ranking:  N/A

Stanford is now two meets into the season, and a couple things have become clear. The first is that Elizabeth Price is healthy and nailing routines to start the season. She’s currently ranked #1 in the country in the all-around and even went so far as to win beam at the Reno quad. Beam. The second is that Stanford does not have bars routines. With just five people who can go at all—and just two who can score well—it’s going to be a long season if Stanford doesn’t pull that lineup together. After 2 meets, Stanford ranks 5th on floor, 12th on beam, and 49th on bars.

23. Illinois Illini

Average: 195.100
Previous ranking: N/A

Things started so well for Illinois with 49s on bars and beam, events that were expected to suffer without their best routines from last season (Horth on bars, Leduc on beam). Instead, it was a parade of 9.4s, 9.5s, and 9.6s on floor that dropped to total down into the low 195s. Still, with expectations not particularly high this season, staying in the top 25 is something.

24. Kent State Golden Flashes

Average: 195.050
Previous ranking: N/A

Kent State sneaks into the top 25 after its first meet thanks to the performance of, you guessed it, Rachel Stypinski, who scored 9.900 on both bars and floor, un-coincidentally the two events on which KSU broke 49.

25. California Golden Bears

Average: 194.425
Previous ranking: 28

Cal’s season started acceptably last Monday, with a win at the Norcal quint, but everything fell off the rails at BYU thanks in most part to a disastrous sub-48 bars rotation, though the 9.5ishness and 9.6ishness was not limited only to bars.


5 thoughts on “Week 2 Rankings”

    1. She had some knee trouble in the off-season. I don’t know if we have official confirmation of this, but I think everybody’s best guess is that they’re trying to take it easy on her right now to prevent her knee from flaring up again later in the season.

  1. I am living for Kentucky and Arkansas being #3 and #5 in the SEC right now. They’re looking very polished this early in the season and I hope they can keep up the momentum!

    1. Polished is exactly the word that came to my mind watching Arkansas. It looks like McCool is infusing the team with GAGE magic.

  2. I’d forgotten how much I loved the beginning of the NCAA season! Those rankings are wild!

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