RQS Outlook

The NCAA regular season has reached its halfway point, which means it’s time to start watching scores a little closer and time to take this season’s first deep look at the RQS picture. (What’s RQS?)

Who’s already fine? Who desperately needs what road scores and when? Let’s get into it.

NOTE: Teams will still be ranked by season average until the rankings of February 26, when RQS officially takes over. So, teams without an RQS right now still have two more weeks to record the necessary scores.

For reference, these are the RQSs required last season for a series of benchmarks if you’re feverishly watching what a certain team might need:

Advance to regionals – 195.420 RQS
Seeded #3 at regionals – 196.380 RQS
Seeded #2 at regionals – 196.845 RQS
Seeded #1 at regionals – 197.355 RQS

As a whole, scores are a little higher this year than they were at the same point last season (ACT SURPRISED), so keep that in mind as well.

Scores in bold will be part of the six scores used for final RQS and can no longer be removed because the team in question has fewer than six meets remaining.

1. Oklahoma
Road Score 1: 198.125
Road Score 2: 198.050
Road Score 3: 197.550
Home/Road Score 1: 198.150
Home/Road Score 2: 197.525
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: N/A

Oklahoma started its season later this year and therefore doesn’t have enough scores for an RQS yet. But, as is typical, the Sooners already have five usable scores and are on track to finish the regular season at #1. Last season, Oklahoma made history by being the second team ever to finish the season with an RQS in the 198s. That all-time record of 198.055 (UCLA 2004) seems within reach again, but the Sooners will need to erase those 197.5s over the next seven meets to get there.


2. UCLA
Road Score 1: 197.750
Road Score 2: 197.625
Road Score 3: 197.300
Home/Road Score 1: 197.950
Home/Road Score 2: 197.200
Home/Road Score 3: 196.250
RQS: 197.225

We’re accustomed to watching the scores a little bit closer for UCLA as the Bruins typically have one bad road score hanging around for way too long, but not this year. UCLA just needs to drop that 196.250 and replace it with another solid 197 to ensure a comfortable spot in the rankings. Staying at #2 and holding off the likes of LSU, Florida, and Utah, however, will likely require bumping up those 197.2s as well.


3. Utah
Road Score 1: 197.550
Road Score 2: 196.975
Road Score 3:
Home/Road Score 1: 197.700
Home/Road Score 2: 197.450
Home/Road Score 3: 197.075
RQS: N/A

The Utes have a little more work left to do. The top three scores here are totally usable, but they’ll want three more scores of an equivalent level to clinch a solid ranking. (This is all relative—Utah is going to be fine for an acceptable regionals seeding regardless of what happens here on out, but they’d like the stay right with the other members of the top 5.) Utah does have a week off at the beginning of March, which means there are only five meets remaining to get those three more mid-197s.


4. LSU
Road Score 1: 197.375
Road Score 2: 197.250
Road Score 3: 197.150
Home/Road Score 1: 197.450
Home/Road Score 2: 197.225
Home/Road Score 3: 197.150
RQS: 197.230

You’ll notice that LSU currently has a higher RQS than #2 UCLA (and the highest of any team with an RQS so far). That’s a result of the 197ish consistency among these scores—no clunker hanging around that desperately needs to be dropped. The problem for LSU right now is that these peak scores are lower than the rest of the top 5, so while UCLA can drop that 196.2 and zoom up, LSU zooming up equivalently will require a couple new huge scores of 197.7+ to catch up with the rest of the teams in that department.


5. Florida
Road Score 1: 197.400
Road Score 2: 196.325
Road Score 3: 195.900
Home/Road Score 1: 198.150
Home/Road Score 2: 197.850
Home/Road Score 3: 197.125
RQS: 196.920

Florida has a little bit more urgency for its remaining meets as those two low road scores will need to be dropped just to ensure there’s no chance any team ranked below can make a move with a big 197y finish. Normal Florida mid-197s would do the job, but that still has to happen twice in the remaining three road meets—February 16th, March 2nd, and March 24th.


6. Michigan
Road Score 1: 196.525
Road Score 2: 194.975
Road Score 3:
Home/Road Score 1: 197.550
Home/Road Score 2: 197.250
Home/Road Score 3: 196.875
RQS: N/A

The most realistic goal for Michigan will be to stay in this cushy little 6-8 zone, a sought-after spot in the rankings that usually results in a manageable regional placement (unless Stanford comes to town and steals your joy, a la 2016). Lately, that has required an RQS in the 197s, so Michigan will prefer three new road scores—and absolutely needs two new road scores—to make that happen, otherwise it will be too vulnerable to the 9-12 teams.


7. Alabama
Road Score 1: 197.075
Road Score 2: 196.725
Road Score 3: 195.675
Home/Road Score 1: 197.000
Home/Road Score 2: 196.525
Home/Road Score 3: 195.800
RQS: 196.345

If things don’t get big soon, we’re probably looking at some goal readjustment for Alabama. It took a 197.355 RQS for Alabama to finish 6th last year and get the final #1 seed at regionals. This season, Alabama is yet to record a score close to that mark and has exactly six meets remaining. Normal Alabama expectations would be to drop all of these scores and start getting those bigger 197s, but if that doesn’t happen, Alabama will just be looking at trying to drop these 195s and clinch that 6-8 zone, which shouldn’t be too much to ask.


8. Arkansas
Road Score 1: 196.350
Road Score 2: 196.150
Road Score 3: 195.350
Home/Road Score 1: 197.175
Home/Road Score 2: 196.575
Home/Road Score 3: 196.525
RQS: 196.190

Compared to last year, when Arkansas finished the regular season with an RQS of 195.775, this year is already a victory with an RQS that can get no worse than 196.190. At this point, Arkansas is already close to sewing up a regionals seeding, but the quality of the remaining road scores will tell us whether that’s going to be a #2 seed or a #3 seed. Teams that finish in the top 12 typically count road scores on the high end of the 196s, rather than the low 196s, so watch for that. 


9. Kentucky
Road Score 1: 196.950
Road Score 2: 196.700
Road Score 3: 196.700
Home/Road Score 1: 196.075
Home/Road Score 2: 195.950
Home/Road Score 3: 195.550
RQS: 196.195

We don’t have to talk about road scores too much when it comes to Kentucky because those three scores are already postseason-ready and would befit a #2 regionals seed. It’s those other three scores that UK has to work on. But, since there are no limits as to where those scores can come from, Kentucky will have six remaining meets to get three good scores in the hearty 196s. That shouldn’t be too challenging, right?


10. Denver
Road Score 1: 195.775
Road Score 2: 195.050
Road Score 3:
Home/Road Score 1: 196.800
Home/Road Score 2: 196.750
Home/Road Score 3: 196.725
RQS: N/A

We’re back to the more typical scenario with Denver, racking up those home scores—already three pretty usable numbers—but still without a road score that’s high enough to ensure a regionals seed at all let alone a #2 seeding, which is what the team will have its eye on. There’s work to be done, but Denver does have five remaining road meets in which to get it done. 


11. Oregon State
Road Score 1: 196.500
Road Score 2: 196.300
Road Score 3: 194.850
Home/Road Score 1: 196.975
Home/Road Score 2: 196.725
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: N/A

Oregon State is a little better poised to move up than some of these adjacent teams because of the mid-196s on both the road and home sides of the RQS picture. It’s the 194 holding things down right now, but everything else looks semi-healthy. Two good scores from now, OSU will expect to gain some ground, the goal being to get out of the dangerous 10-15 zone and into something like 8-9, which typically produces those softer regional draws.


12. Nebraska
Road Score 1: 195.675
Road Score 2: 195.550
Road Score 3:
Home/Road Score 1: 196.875
Home/Road Score 2: 196.850
Home/Road Score 3: 196.300
RQS: N/A

Nebraska is in a very similar position to Denver right now, where the home scores look fine (Nebraska will also want to finish 8th-9th, and those two 196.8s are consistent with that other contenders for those spots have right now), but the road scores must be dropped to avoid a rough regional placement. The Huskers still have five road meets remaining— and a two-meet weekend coming up soon—so there are opportunities to fix things.


13. Washington
Road Score 1: 196.525
Road Score 2: 196.250
Road Score 3: 195.725
Home/Road Score 1: 197.000
Home/Road Score 2: 196.325
Home/Road Score 3: 195.350
RQS: 196.035

Washington is another sleeper with a couple solid 196s on both the home and road sides of the RQS and a couple 195s that look ripe to be dropped. The only issue for the Huskies will be that unless they score five more 196.7+s in the remaining six meets—quite an ask—they appear on a collision course with the tough 1-12-13 or 2-11-14 regionals again this season.


14. Georgia
Road Score 1: 196.150
Road Score 2: 196.125
Road Score 3: 194.525
Home/Road Score 1: 197.000
Home/Road Score 2: 196.725
Home/Road Score 3: 196.600
RQS: 196.025

Depending on what your expectations are for Georgia this season (whether they’re realistic or unrealistic), the home scores already look good. Those are believable scores for a #2 regionals seed. It’s the road scores that all need to go if Georgia is to reach that level. Georgia competes at home for the next two weekends, so we may not learn much about where Georgia will finish until the last few meets of the year. That’s also a warning not to freak out if Georgia drops some ground when RQS debuts. It will have to be a late-surge kind of season. 


15. Boise State
Road Score 1: 196.625
Road Score 2: 196.400
Road Score 3: 195.475
Home/Road Score 1: 196.225
Home/Road Score 2: 195.850
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: N/A

Boise State may be mostly OK with how things are looking. The mid-196s are starting to come, so it will take just three more hit meets out of the remaining six to have a full slate of 196s and be on track for a #3 seeding. What BSU doesn’t currently have is any score in the realm of what we expect from a #2 seed. Last year, when Boise State finished the regular season 11th, it was with three 197s, which we haven’t seen yet this year.  


16. Auburn
Road Score 1: 196.500
Road Score 2: 196.375
Road Score 3: 194.875
Home/Road Score 1: 197.000
Home/Road Score 2: 196.625
Home/Road Score 3: 196.250
RQS: 196.125

The existence of RQS benefits Auburn tremendously this season because it provides the opportunity to drop the bad meets, of which Auburn already has two. As you can see, Auburn already has a stronger RQS than Washington and Georgia, teams that are ranked multiple places higher going by average. Auburn will still have real aspirations of a #2 seed because of those couple solid 196s and that 197.000, but it will take four more good meets in the remaining five to get there.


17. Arizona State
Road Score 1: 196.475
Road Score 2: 196.250
Road Score 3: 195.400
Home/Road Score 1: 196.800
Home/Road Score 2: 195.050
Home/Road Score 3: 194.675
RQS: 195.570

Arizona State hasn’t made regionals since 2014, so the primary goal is different here than it is for the other teams ranked in this territory. Even though it’s too early for anything to be mathematically guaranteed, ASU already has the scores necessary to make it to regionals and six meets remaining to erase any doubt. (This 195.570 is already ASU’s second-highest RQS of the last decade.) There’s still a lot of work to do to hang onto this ranking of 17th—work like dropping all of these 195s and getting back to those January 196s—but making regionals this year is going to be a piece of cake.


18. Minnesota
Road Score 1: 196.375
Road Score 2: 195.775
Road Score 3:
Home/Road Score 1: 196.100
Home/Road Score 2: 196.075
Home/Road Score 3: 194.200
RQS: N/A

Minnesota is starting to rack up the 196s as well, which will keep the team in contention for a regional seeding if that level is maintained. But, they are on the lower end of the 196s and none of them exceed that 196.380 marker it took to get a seeded place last season. It’s something to watch as the teams ranked just below also start dropping their bad scores.


19. BYU
Road Score 1: 196.450
Road Score 2: 194.875
Road Score 3: 194.275
Home/Road Score 1: 196.450
Home/Road Score 2: 196.025
Home/Road Score 3: 195.750
RQS: 195.475

The expectation based on early meets was that BYU would have really strong home totals and would hope to use that to hang onto a regionals spot in the face of some low road scores. Now having that 196.450 road score helps not only BYU’s mission to make regionals but also the quest for a seeded spot. BYU is typically right on the bubble at the end of the year and just squeaks in to regionals, so having all these 196s will make qualification much more relaxing this year. Like Arizona State, BYU’s regionals spot is basically already assured and will become a definite if those 194s are removed once BYU head back on the road in March. 


20. Missouri
Road Score 1: 195.850
Road Score 2: 194.875
Road Score 3: 194.525
Home/Road Score 1: 196.375
Home/Road Score 2: 196.325
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: N/A

Missouri will be less pleased with the current ranking scenario because coming into the season, this team absolutely would have expected a regionals seeding and would have hoped for a #2 seeding. Getting there is still quite possible because both of those home scores are relatively competitive, but all three of those road scores will have to be removed in the remaining five road meets.

21. George Washington
Road Score 1: 196.175
Road Score 2: 195.950
Road Score 3: 195.575
Home/Road Score 1: 196.525
Home/Road Score 2: 195.325
Home/Road Score 3: 193.775
RQS: 195.360

Because GW’s current roster is historically remarkable for the program, we’re looking at internal records as well as external accomplishments, with this squad not only hoping to challenge for a seeded spot but also looking to beat last year’s regular-season finish of 20th. George Washington’s numbers will look a little deflated right now because of that 193.775 still hanging around, which will be dropped soon.


22. Iowa State
Road Score 1: 195.725
Road Score 2: 195.175
Road Score 3: 194.975
Home/Road Score 1: 196.200
Home/Road Score 2: 195.450
Home/Road Score 3: 195.275
RQS: 195.320

Iowa State is staying afloat by average—without one of those piddly little 193s or low 194s pulling the averages down—but is also lacking the hearty 196s that the true seeded contenders will have. To make a real push for a seeded spot, it looks like ISU is going to need five 196s in the remaining six meets.

23. Cal
Road Score 1: 195.475
Road Score 2: 194.850
Road Score 3: 194.850
Home/Road Score 1: 197.225
Home/Road Score 2: 195.950
Home/Road Score 3: 194.350
RQS: 195.095

Cal has left things a little late but also has the 197 ability to zoom up the rankings quickly, bypassing the other teams that throw up hit meets for 196.3s. On ability, Cal should be challenging your Nebraskas and Oregon States and Denvers in that (dangerous yet sure better than 23rd) portion of the rankings, but actually doing that will require dropping five of the six scores currently in the RQS slate.

Of note, all of these dangerous, currently unseeded teams in the western portion of the country would make the Utah regional REAL if they all end up having to be placed geographically.


24. Arizona
Road Score 1: 194.975
Road Score 2: 194.425
Road Score 3:
Home/Road Score 1: 196.325
Home/Road Score 2: 195.750
Home/Road Score 3: 195.725
RQS: N/A

As we move into this portion of the rankings, goals will revolve more around holding onto a place for regionals rather than getting into the seeds, as it will be quite difficult for these teams to do so. Arizona, for instance, has no scores yet reaching that 196.380 mark and would need to complete reinvent the RQS slate in the second half of the season. More urgently, Arizona will be looking to drop both those road 194s (in four remaining road meets) to ensure staying well above 195 in RQS. We’re not quite in the road-meet danger zone yet, but it’s getting close.


25. Stanford
Road Score 1: 196.050
Road Score 2: 195.550
Road Score 3: 195.350
Home/Road Score 1: 195.650
Home/Road Score 2: 195.025
Home/Road Score 3: 194.925
RQS: 195.300

As the weeks pass, it’s looking more and more like another unseeded season for Stanford. Of course, the team is capable of scoring the five necessary 196s in the five remaining meets, but there’s essentially no remaining room for any counting falls if Stanford is to get up to the top 18.


26. Central Michigan
Road Score 1: 195.650
Road Score 2: 194.525
Road Score 3: 194.525
Home/Road Score 1: 196.375
Home/Road Score 2: 195.675
Home/Road Score 3: 195.600
RQS: 195.195

Central Michigan hasn’t been able to match that 196 from the first meet of the season, but the little 195.6 routine the team has fallen into should be enough to stay safe as long as it is maintained in the remaining road meets. CMU has seven meets left and just two scores that HAVE to be dropped, which seems quite doable. 


27. Ohio State
Road Score 1: 195.850
Road Score 2: 195.300
Road Score 3: 194.925
Home/Road Score 1: 196.775
Home/Road Score 2: 196.200
Home/Road Score 3: 193.200
RQS: 195.095

Keep an eye on Ohio State because we have seen some higher scores coming that way lately. Both the average and RQS are mostly a victim of that disaster against UCLA in the first meet of the year, but once that score can be dropped for RQS, Ohio State should be quite comfortable for a regionals spot at the very least and may still have a very outside shot at the top 18. 


28. Penn State
Road Score 1: 196.025
Road Score 2: 195.600
Road Score 3: 195.025
Home/Road Score 1: 195.475
Home/Road Score 2: 195.050
Home/Road Score 3: 194.275
RQS: 195.085

Penn State will be a little disappointed by how things have gone because there’s far more potential on this team than mid-195s, but that’s exactly the kind of score it takes to retain a place at regionals, which won’t be too much of a challenge.

29. NC State
Road Score 1: 195.925
Road Score 2: 195.825
Road Score 3: 194.650
Home/Road Score 1: 196.350
Home/Road Score 2: 194.600
Home/Road Score 3: 194.025
RQS: 195.005

NC State has missed regionals for two straight seasons after being a perennial qualifier up until that point, and right now the scores look pretty good in the quest to get back there. Three of these scores are already very usable, with three others to be dropped in the remaining seven meets. Three more 195s, and it should be fine.

30. Illinois
Road Score 1: 195.750
Road Score 2: 195.100
Road Score 3: 195.100
Home/Road Score 1: 195.325
Home/Road Score 2: 194.325
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: N/A

It has not been a strong season thus far for a depleted Illinois team, and the expectations have quickly changed, the goal now being just to ensure that regionals happens. With only one current score that looks pretty healthy for RQS purposes (a score that would be dropped as the high number), it’s not yet a sure thing. A busy schedule does mean Illinois has more chances (seven remaining meets) to fix things, but even those 195.1s would be dicey to keep.


31. West Virginia
Road Score 1: 195.050
Road Score 2: 195.025
Road Score 3: 194.925
Home/Road Score 1: 195.875
Home/Road Score 2: 195.400
Home/Road Score 3: 194.425
RQS: 194.965

Another team that will be surprised by its current ranking and ambiguous RQS future is West Virginia, down at 31 with scores that have been trending south for five consecutive meets now. Senior day is already coming this weekend, so WVU can’t rely on home meets to scoop up big numbers to solidify its future. Instead, it will take road performances to drop the four scores here that still need to be dropped.


32. Maryland
Road Score 1: 195.050
Road Score 2: 194.100
Road Score 3: 194.025
Home/Road Score 1: 196.575
Home/Road Score 2: 195.550
Home/Road Score 3: 195.350
RQS: 194.815

Maryland has also missed out on regionals the last two seasons and will therefore be somewhat pleased with how things look thus far, at least in terms of the home scores. Even with that gigantic 196 being dropped as the high, those other home numbers are reasonable for now. The road scores will have to improve to maintain this ranking, but Maryland has a casual 80 billion meets left (including two straight two-meet weekends in March), so there will be plenty of opportunities.

33. Kent State
Road Score 1: 195.575
Road Score 2: 195.325
Road Score 3: 193.600
Home/Road Score 1: 195.925
Home/Road Score 2: 195.050
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: N/A

Around 2015-2016, Kent State gained a reputation for having fantastic home scores and dismal road scores, which is what took the 2015 team out of contention for regionals even though that team absolutely should have qualified. This year’s reasonable road 195s are a good sign so far, but there are still only two (maybe 3) scores here that Kent State can get away with keeping around.


34. North Carolina
Road Score 1: 195.750
Road Score 2: 195.075
Road Score 3: 194.600
Home/Road Score 1: 195.300
Home/Road Score 2: 194.375
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: N/A

North Carolina just sneaked into regionals in 2017 and looks on a similar track this season despite showing much greater potential than that. The team we saw against Oklahoma has no business being anywhere close to missing regionals, but the scores in all the other meets this season have not yet backed that up. Very few teams make regionals while counting 194s, and the teams that do also have 196s to counter-balance.


35. Southern Utah
Road Score 1: 195.825
Road Score 2: 194.475
Road Score 3: 194.350
Home/Road Score 1: 196.800
Home/Road Score 2: 195.200
Home/Road Score 3: 193.475
RQS: 194.665

It has been a down year for Southern Utah after all the people graduated following last season’s success, though a significant culprit in this low ranking is that 193 that’s still hanging around and spoiling the average. The top scores are a little healthier thus far, so I would expect SUU to jump out of the danger zone after RQS begins and that 193 gets sent away, especially if the home scores continue like that 196.8.


36. New Hampshire
Road Score 1: 195.175
Road Score 2: 194.175
Road Score 3:
Home/Road Score 1: 196.125
Home/Road Score 2: 195.925
Home/Road Score 3: 195.775
RQS: N/A

New Hampshire is another team that shouldn’t actually be this close to the danger zone once RQS comes into play. The current ranking of 36th by season average is the result of a random 191 at a home meet earlier in the season. That score has already been dropped for RQS and will become irrelevant shortly. The counting home scores look very safe, providing some buffer so that the road scores don’t even have to be that good, just a little better than they are now.


37. Utah State
Road Score 1: 195.275
Road Score 2: 195.000
Road Score 3: 195.000
Home/Road Score 1: 195.450
Home/Road Score 2: 195.150
Home/Road Score 3: 192.975
RQS: 194.680

Utah State is also being dragged down by a very low 192 that makes the season look a lot less solidly 195 than it is, but unlike New Hampshire, USU does not have the bigger home scores to feel particularly safe right now. Most of the teams in this territory are also looking to drop a really bad one.

38. Bowling Green
Road Score 1: 195.500
Road Score 2: 194.525
Road Score 3: 194.275
Home/Road Score 1: 195.025
Home/Road Score 2: 194.825
Home/Road Score 3: 194.000
RQS: 194.530

Bowling Green is doing well to keep things close early in the season in the hope of repeating 2016’s trip to regionals, though once again 194s won’t get it done. When Bowling Green went in 2016, it was with nothing less than 195.150 on the RQS slate, so there’s a lot of pressure to hit five of the seven remaining meets in order to stick around in contention.


39. Iowa
Road Score 1: 196.000
Road Score 2: 195.150
Road Score 3: 193.375
Home/Road Score 1: 195.725
Home/Road Score 2: 194.900
Home/Road Score 3: 193.000
RQS: 194.430

It’s not time to panic for Iowa yet. Things don’t look great, and the team certainly would not have expected to spend any part of the season ranked down outside the regionals cutoff, but those 193s are dragging down the total somewhat misleadingly. With a couple hit meets, those 193s will be dropped, at which point Iowa will zoom up. I would be extraordinarily surprised if Iowa does not make regionals this year, and the team as a whole should build a shrine to the inventor of RQS because it will save Iowa’s season.


40. Pittsburgh
Road Score 1: 196.100
Road Score 2: 193.125
Road Score 3:
Home/Road Score 1: 196.225
Home/Road Score 2: 194.125
Home/Road Score 3: 193.125
RQS: N/A

Pittsburgh has two 196s so far this season, you guys. There are a number of teams wholly expecting to make regionals this year that don’t have two 196s yet. The defining factor for Pittsburgh will be whether those scores are…real or not. Pitt currently has two amazing scores and three completely unusable scores if the goal is to make regionals for the first time since 2013. Having a 196 means Pitt could probably get away with counting a 194 to, but not a 193, and not two 194s. There are many scores left to get. 

41. Michigan State
Road Score 1: 194.950
Road Score 2: 194.925
Road Score 3:
Home/Road Score 1: 195.525
Home/Road Score 2: 195.550
Home/Road Score 3: 193.350
RQS: N/A

You’ve had a rough go this year, Michigan State team, but regionals is still within the realm of possibility given those home scores and those not-completely-unusable 194.9s on the road. With three more mid-195s in the final six meets, MSU should be able to stay in the hunt.

42. Ball State
Road Score 1: 195.450
Road Score 2: 194.750
Road Score 3: 194.475
Home/Road Score 1: 195.600
Home/Road Score 2: 195.000
Home/Road Score 3: 191.775
RQS: 194.290

Ball State is also expected to zoom up the rankings this year once that 191 is dropped, but the question is whether the zooming will be enough to get into regionals. It will require several more good meets (not just “we erased a 191” meets). Still, making regionals for the first time since 1999 remains a possibility given those peak-level mid-195s were seeing, which could be close to the necessary scores.

43. Northern Illinois
Road Score 1: 195.425
Road Score 2: 195.200
Road Score 3: 195.025
Home/Road Score 1: 194.950
Home/Road Score 2: 194.375
Home/Road Score 3: 193.575
RQS: 194.625

NIU has a better current RQS than several higher-ranked contending teams like Bowling Green and Iowa but set itself up in a challenging position with some low early-season totals. It means that even though the last few weeks have been more competitively 195, there’s still a lot to do. If those two lowest scores can be dropped, things might look more realistic heading to the end of the season.

44. Western Michigan
Road Score 1: 195.425
Road Score 2: 192.425
Road Score 3:
Home/Road Score 1: 195.675
Home/Road Score 2: 194.975
Home/Road Score 3: 193.425
RQS: N/A

Western Michigan has two mid-195s in the relatively usable zone, which means the team is staying alive. Even though there are a number of scores left to get between now and the end of the season, that means four scores in seven meets, rather than six scores in seven meets as some other teams have to do, and four is a lot more doable. 

45. UC Davis
Road Score 1: 194.400
Road Score 2: 193.125
Road Score 3:
Home/Road Score 1: 195.150
Home/Road Score 2: 194.525
Home/Road Score 3: 194.200
RQS: N/A

Davis is in a more challenging position because none of the scores so far are all that competitive with the regionals totals we’re looking for. Perhaps the 195 could stay, but Davis is pretty much one of those teams looking for six new numbers in seven meets to have a shot.

46. Eastern Michigan
Road Score 1: 194.950
Road Score 2: 193.950
Road Score 3: 192.900
Home/Road Score 1: 194.900
Home/Road Score 2: 194.900
Home/Road Score 3: 194.025
RQS: 194.135

You wondered when it all would catch up to Eastern Michigan, and it looks like this is the year. Just too many gymnasts and coaches departing? Understandable. EMU is yet to go 195 this season and has just the six meets remaining, which means either every score from here on out would have to be a good one, or they need three 196s to go with those high 194s. 

47. San Jose State
Road Score 1: 194.475
Road Score 2: 194.275
Road Score 3: 192.975
Home/Road Score 1: 194.500
Home/Road Score 2: 194.425
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: N/A

Every team is mathematically still in it at this point because they all have a bunch of meets left, but at this point we’re looking at teams that would need a sudden turnaround—as in every remaining score being around a point higher than all the scores thus far. So it’s less likely. They’re just not in it this year. San Jose has been on a bit of a downslope (last year’s 48th the weakest finish since 2004), so beating 48th would be a moral victory this season.

48. Towson
Road Score 1: 194.000
Road Score 2: 193.975
Road Score 3: 193.800
Home/Road Score 1: 194.725
Home/Road Score 2: 194.275
Home/Road Score 3: 192.050
RQS: 193.620

The 45-50 zone is about where Towson tends to finish, and this season looks like part of the trend, though it has been a long time since Towson made the top 40 and the removal of that 192.050 should allow for the possibility of challenging that mark.

49. Temple
Road Score 1: 194.875
Road Score 2: 194.700
Road Score 3: 194.375
Home/Road Score 1: 193.875
Home/Road Score 2: 193.225
Home/Road Score 3: 191.575
RQS: 193.550

Temple neevvvver does this well, and the last two seasons have been full of program records. These are still not regionals-level scores, but finishing 54th last season was a big deal after all those years in the 60s, and Temple is on track to smash that 54th mark this season once that 191 goes away.  

50. Bridgeport
Road Score 1: 194.350
Road Score 2: 194.225
Road Score 3: 194.225
Home/Road Score 1: 193.275
Home/Road Score 2: 192.950
Home/Road Score 3: 192.650
RQS: 193.465

Bridgeport currently sits as the highest-ranked DII team, which is an accomplishment in itself and keeps Bridgeport as the favorite for the annual “we don’t have a bunch of scholarships” championship the week before nationals. This isn’t going to be like the Tsikhanovich/Doucette/La Fex team that made regionals in 2013, but these are solid results.

51. Rutgers
Road Score 1: 194.225
Road Score 2: 193.950
Road Score 3: 192.975
Home/Road Score 1: 194.800
Home/Road Score 2: 191.525
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: N/A

Rutgers hasn’t really contended for regionals for a few years now but will expect a better ranking than the current spot of 51st once we get down to it as this should be a high-194s kind of team.  

52. Illinois-Chicago
Road Score 1: 194.250
Road Score 2: 193.525
Road Score 3: 193.025
Home/Road Score 1: 193.625
Home/Road Score 2: 193.000
Home/Road Score 3: 192.375
RQS: 193.110

UIC made regionals once in recent years (2012), but has nestled into rankings in the 50s in the years since. This is, however, the best RQS among the teams in the MIC right now, just ahead of Lindenwood right below, so the goal of a conference championship can still be a thing.

53. Lindenwood
Road Score 1: 194.650
Road Score 2: 193.875
Road Score 3: 193.600
Home/Road Score 1: 194.500
Home/Road Score 2: 191.625
Home/Road Score 3: 190.850
RQS: 192.890

Lindenwood is still a baby as a team, and I fully expect there to be a year where Lindenwood challenges for regionals in the near future. For this season, the program-record 49th finish is under threat, as is the MIC title, especially once LU drops that 190, which will be enough to put UIC in trouble.

54. Air Force
Road Score 1: 193.100
Road Score 2: 192.700
Road Score 3: 191.750
Home/Road Score 1: 194.275
Home/Road Score 2: 193.425
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: N/A

Air Force hasn’t been a national contender in a number of years (not since making regionals in 2002), but post-2002, Air Force’s best final ranking has been 51st, which will be a goal this season especially if more of those home 194s start dropping like they did in the most recent meet.

55. TWU
Road Score 1: 193.700
Road Score 2: 192.650
Road Score 3: 191.425
Home/Road Score 1: 195.200
Home/Road Score 2: 193.525
Home/Road Score 3: 191.050
RQS: 192.470

That 195.200 home score served notice for this DII team, making TWU the only team even in this remote vicinity of the rankings with a 195 so far this season. TWU can typically be counted on for a couple big home scores a season, but followed it up last season with a 196 at the “we don’t have a lot of scholarships” championship to win that title.

56. Sacramento State
Road Score 1: 194.400
Road Score 2: 193.275
Road Score 3: 193.000
Home/Road Score 1: 192.875
Home/Road Score 2: 191.775
Home/Road Score 3: 191.500
RQS: 192.485

This has been an off year for Sac State so far—largely the result of some critical injuries like Lauren Rice because this theoretically should be a pretty competitive roster that can score well. They’ll hope the recent 194 was more befitting of the team’s quality this year than those 191s.

57. William & Mary
Road Score 1: 193.650
Road Score 2: 193.300
Road Score 3: 193.225
Home/Road Score 1: 190.475
Home/Road Score 2:
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: N/A

William and Mary hit a bit of a dip last year, finishing in 63rd when we typically expect a ranking in the 50s that beats the Ivies, which is currently happening right now but will require getting rid of that 190 in due time.

58. Yale
Road Score 1: 192.800
Road Score 2: 192.050
Road Score 3: 191.550
Home/Road Score 1: 194.275
Home/Road Score 2: 191.475
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: N/A

Yale currently leads the Ivies and is making some waves with this year’s team as the 194.275 recorded last week is the 4th highest meet score in the team’s history. Yale has a recent history of being the weakest of the Ivy gymnastics programs, but did win the ECAC championship last year (ahead of Cornell and the improving Temple—this year’s favorite) and is leading the way this year without any of those 190s hanging around.

59. Penn
Road Score 1: 192.675
Road Score 2: 191.900
Road Score 3: 190.375
Home/Road Score 1: 193.725
Home/Road Score 2: 192.200
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: N/A

Yale’s lead is currently slim, but Penn also does have a useful 193.725 and should have a chance to drop that 190 in the coming weeks, which would make the scores look a lot more competitive.

60. Cornell
Road Score 1: 192.500
Road Score 2: 191.600
Road Score 3: 190.550
Home/Road Score 1: 193.625
Home/Road Score 2: 192.400
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: N/A

While Cornell didn’t win the ECAC title last season, Cornell ended up the class of the group by qualifying to the “we don’t have a lot of scholarships” team final, ultimately placing 4th at those championships behind TWU, Lindenwood, and Bridgeport. So, Cornell will not be satisfied hanging behind Yale and Penn for now, though the scores are looking almost identical to Penn’s.

61. SEMO
Road Score 1: 192.700
Road Score 2: 189.675
Road Score 3: 189.325
Home/Road Score 1: 193.300
Home/Road Score 2: 191.900
Home/Road Score 3: 191.650
RQS: 191.050

It has been a rough couple seasons for Southeast Missouri, a team that was not typically ranked among the lowest DI schools until recently. Last year, SEMO made a push of 193s at the very end of the season and will hope to do the same this year to make a run at contending with some of those DII teams in the same conference like Lindenwood and TWU. 

62. West Chester
Road Score 1: 191.725
Road Score 2: 191.600
Road Score 3: 190.600
Home/Road Score 1: 192.250
Home/Road Score 2: 192.050
Home/Road Score 3: 189.825
RQS: 191.160

West Chester, by contrast, is on a bit of an upswing to get to this same portion of the rankings, a team that typically finished as the weakest of the non-DIII teams (and occasionally behind several of the DIII teams) but that recorded a historic finish of 61st last year and can challenge that again this season.

63. Illinois State
Road Score 1: 191.600
Road Score 2: 191.175
Road Score 3: 190.875
Home/Road Score 1: 192.025
Home/Road Score 2: 191.200
Home/Road Score 3: 188.825
RQS: 190.735

Illinois State has struggled this year to pull out of the bottom of the rankings after that 188 against Alaska at a meet where everyone on both teams got a 2 for everything. It’s not going to be a big ranking year, but dropping that score will help things get a little more competitive.

64. Brown
Road Score 1: 193.325
Road Score 2: 191.250
Road Score 3: 190.600
Home/Road Score 1: 190.900
Home/Road Score 2: 188.400
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: N/A

Brown also does not yet have enough scores to drop an opening-meet clunker that I believed featured five mistakes on beam. Brown won’t tolerant handing around this far back of the other Ivies, but there’s really only one competitive score here so far, so lots of work to do.

65. Seattle Pacific
Road Score 1: 190.750
Road Score 2: 189.250
Road Score 3: 186.875
Home/Road Score 1: 191.325
Home/Road Score 2: 190.725
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: 151.520

Seattle Pacific is the only DII team in its conference but ends up beating either Alaska, Air Force, or both at the conference championship every single year. You’d expect Seattle Pacific to finish last at that meet, but it never does. So while the scores won’t get close to any team accomplishments, that’s a steak to watch. 

66. Southern Connecticut
Road Score 1: 191.825
Road Score 2: 191.000
Road Score 3: 189.825
Home/Road Score 1: 189.525
Home/Road Score 2: 187.650
Home/Road Score 3: 186.150
RQS: 188.830

This is about where we expect Southern Connecticut to sit in the rankings, but of note, the 191.825 recorded at the most recent meet is the third-highest score in the team’s history. The record is 192.000.

68. Alaska
Road Score 1: 189.050
Road Score 2: 188.825
Road Score 3: 188.500
Home/Road Score 1: 190.975
Home/Road Score 2: 190.125
Home/Road Score 3: 188.300
RQS: 188.960

We’re all just glad Alaska is still a program. The scores aren’t going to be there, but there are still two clear goals to accomplish. 1) Not finishing the season ranked behind any of the DIII teams, and 2) Getting Kendra Daniels’ beam routine to regionals. Get to work.


The teams in Division III use a different ranking system (SAS) among themselves, one that doesn’t expect them to compare to the DI schools because they’re at a different level and (let’s be honest) get scored super differently. For evidence, note the rare occasions when they show up at DI-hosted meets and suddenly score three points higher than ever before. But, here’s where they stand for RQS anyway.

67. UW-La Crosse
Road Score 1: 191.350
Road Score 2: 188.400
Road Score 3: 187.900
Home/Road Score 1: 190.100
Home/Road Score 2: 189.600
Home/Road Score 3: 187.875
RQS: 188.775

 

69. Brockport
Road Score 1: 190.975
Road Score 2: 190.575
Road Score 3: 188.375
Home/Road Score 1: 188.925
Home/Road Score 2: 184.450
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: N/A

 

70. UW-Whitewater
Road Score 1: 191.275
Road Score 2: 188.650
Road Score 3: 188.175
Home/Road Score 1: 188.500
Home/Road Score 2: 187.525
Home/Road Score 3: 186.850
RQS: 187.940

 

71. Ithaca
Road Score 1: 191.375
Road Score 2: 188.575
Road Score 3: 188.075
Home/Road Score 1: 186.950
Home/Road Score 2: 186.150
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: 149.950

 

72. Springfield
Road Score 1: 186.200
Road Score 2: 186.000
Road Score 3: 185.800
Home/Road Score 1: 188.700
Home/Road Score 2: 188.300
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: 149.260

 

73. Ursinus
Road Score 1: 187.425
Road Score 2: 186.900
Road Score 3: 186.075
Home/Road Score 1: 186.800
Home/Road Score 2: 184.925
Home/Road Score 3:
RQS: N/A

 

74. Centenary
Road Score 1: 184.125
Road Score 2: 178.875
Road Score 3:
Home/Road Score 1: 189.750
Home/Road Score 2: 188.750
Home/Road Score 3: 187.700
RQS: N/A

 

75. Winona State
Road Score 1: 186.825
Road Score 2: 184.750
Road Score 3: 184.625
Home/Road Score 1: 186.400
Home/Road Score 2: 185.875
Home/Road Score 3: 182.350
RQS: 184.800

 

76. Cortland
Road Score 1: 187.000
Road Score 2: 185.350
Road Score 3: 183.800
Home/Road Score 1: 185.850
Home/Road Score 2: 185.150
Home/Road Score 3: 183.200
RQS: 184.670

 

77. Hamline
Road Score 1: 185.550
Road Score 2: 183.675
Road Score 3: 183.475
Home/Road Score 1: 186.150
Home/Road Score 2: 185.175
Home/Road Score 3: 184.100
RQS: 184.395

 

78. UW-Eau Claire
Road Score 1: 185.475
Road Score 2: 184.900
Road Score 3: 183.750
Home/Road Score 1: 185.625
Home/Road Score 2: 183.500
Home/Road Score 3: 181.275
RQS: 183.780

 

79. UW-Stout
Road Score 1: 184.875
Road Score 2: 184.525
Road Score 3: 180.725
Home/Road Score 1: 186.575
Home/Road Score 2: 185.275
Home/Road Score 3: 180.350
RQS: 183.150

 

80. UW-Oshkosh
Road Score 1: 190.975
Road Score 2: 183.425
Road Score 3: 181.400
Home/Road Score 1: 183.900
Home/Road Score 2: 183.525
Home/Road Score 3: 178.200
RQS: 182.090

 

81. Gustavus Adolphus
Road Score 1: 179.875
Road Score 2: 179.050
Road Score 3: 176.850
Home/Road Score 1: 179.875
Home/Road Score 2: 175.800
Home/Road Score 3: 174.275
RQS: 177.170

 

82. Rhode Island
Road Score 1: 179.300
Road Score 2: 177.550
Road Score 3: 177.100
Home/Road Score 1: 177.625
Home/Road Score 2: 174.800
Home/Road Score 3: 174.550
RQS: 176.325

 

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