NCAA Week 7 – RQS Outlook

You can check out the official rankings for week 7 as always at RTN, but instead of the true rankings this week, I’m going to take a prospective look at where teams currently stand in terms of RQS, which will take over for season average beginning next Monday. This is where they would be ranked if RQS were in place now. Bold scores must be retained as part of the six RQS totals and can no longer be dropped.


1. Oklahoma Sooners

RQS: 197.925
Official week 7 ranking: 1

Road Score 1: 198.075
Road Score 2: 198.050
Road Score 3: 197.975
Home/Road Score 1: 198.325
Home/Road Score 2: 197.825
Home/Road Score 3: 197.700
RQS: 197.925

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 198.050
Meets remaining: 6
Road meets remaining: 3

Oklahoma is fine for RQS, obviously, already maintaining what is nearly a three-tenth lead over 2nd-place UCLA (a lead equivalent to 1.400 in pure meet scores), with six meets remaining to improve on all of these numbers and chase the RQS record of 198.120, set by this team last season. That feat looks quite doable at this point.


2. UCLA Bruins

RQS: 197.645
Official week 7 ranking: 2

Road Score 1: 197.900
Road Score 2: 197.700
Road Score 3: 197.600
Home/Road Score 1: 198.025
Home/Road Score 2: 197.775
Home/Road Score 3: 197.250
RQS: 197.645

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.800
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 3

UCLA has one remaining score that it would prefer to drop—that 197.250 from the very first meet of the year that’s still hanging around—but once that happens, UCLA should be comfortable for a top-3 finish this season. It would be quite difficult to catch Oklahoma at this point since Oklahoma already has three 198s and more meets remaining than UCLA does, but either 2nd or 3rd looks solid.


3. Florida Gators

RQS: 197.530
Official week 7 ranking: 3

Road Score 1: 198.025
Road Score 2: 197.500
Road Score 3: 197.325
Home/Road Score 1: 197.850
Home/Road Score 2: 197.675
Home/Road Score 3: 197.300
RQS: 197.530

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.675
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 2

Florida has fewer meets left than the other top teams since the Gators will take a week off of competition before the SEC Championship, but that’s not proving to be a problem this year because the scores are already solid. Last season, Florida was on serious road-score watch, but we’ve seen a change this year as the road scores have mostly mimicked the home performances. To catch UCLA, though, those two 197.3s will have to go in the next couple meets. 


4. Utah Utes

RQS: 197.170
Official week 7 ranking: 4

Road Score 1: 197.375
Road Score 2: 197.250
Road Score 3: 197.150
Home/Road Score 1: 197.125
Home/Road Score 2: 197.150
Home/Road Score 3: 197.125
RQS: 197.170

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.220
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 2

Utah will also have a weekend off in March and therefore has just four meets left instead of five. The streak of 197s that has received so much attention is keeping Utah in comfortable stead for RQS, with nothing nasty that needs to be dropped. But, you’ll note that there’s already a 197.375 and 197.250 that cannot be dropped. For the teams ranked above Utah, those are the low scores on the slate that we still very much expect to be dropped, which is why it would be exceptionally difficult for Utah to move beyond 4th this season, even if the high 197s start coming now. The ranking goal will to maintain this spot in the 4-5 regional. 


5. LSU Tigers

RQS: 197.110
Official week 7 ranking: 5

Road Score 1: 197.450
Road Score 2: 197.250
Road Score 3: 196.275
Home/Road Score 1: 197.650
Home/Road Score 2: 197.425
Home/Road Score 3: 197.150
RQS: 197.110

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.385
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 3

LSU currently sits behind Utah, primarily the result of that 196.275 that still has to count as one of the road scores. LSU will be optimistic about its chance to catch Utah this weekend, however, because the team heads to Arkansas with a chance to drop that tiny road score and replace it with something much better. Even a 196.850 would guarantee LSU jumping up to 4th on Monday’s rankings. LSU has three scores higher than Utah’s peak so far this season, so the 4-5 advantage sits with LSU right now.


6. Denver Pioneers

RQS: 196.730
Official week 7 ranking: 6

Road Score 1: 197.450
Road Score 2: 196.350
Road Score 3: 196.275
Home/Road Score 1: 197.625
Home/Road Score 2: 197.400
Home/Road Score 3: 196.175
RQS: 196.730

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.020
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 3

Right now, we see a big drop off after #5, so the goal for the rest of the teams at the current moment is to get up to #6 and, at minimum, try to ensure a top-8 seeding. Still, if you look at Denver’s top 3 scores, they’re only a smidge lower than the top 3 scores for LSU and are higher than the top 3 scores for Utah. If Denver continues scoring the way it has, that’s going to mean a ranking ceiling more like 4th than 6th—and it’s why a team like Utah has to be wary about getting these continued low 197s. It makes them vulnerable.


7. Alabama Crimson Tide

RQS: 196.610
Official week 7 ranking: 9

Road Score 1: 196.900
Road Score 2: 196.850
Road Score 3: 196.700
Home/Road Score 1: 196.850
Home/Road Score 2: 196.475
Home/Road Score 3: 196.175
RQS: 196.610

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.755
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 4

Our first discrepancy between the RQS rankings and the official week 7 rankings comes from Alabama gaining two spots. This is largely the result of RQS allowing Alabama to drop that nasty little 194 from the first meet—a score that is still dragging down the team average. The scores Alabama is currently counting are all solid enough. Fine. Whatever. The problem for Alabama is that bold 196.900, a lower must-count score than any of the next six teams currently ranked 8-13. This #7 ranking may look good now, but there’s real danger of dropping several spots soon as those next few teams are able to drop the low scores currently dragging them down. Alabama needs that elusive 197 because continued high 196s won’t improve the RQS by enough to stay at #7.


8. Georgia Bulldogs

RQS: 196.460
Official week 7 ranking: 7

Road Score 1: 196.400
Road Score 2: 196.300
Road Score 3: 195.300
Home/Road Score 1: 197.475
Home/Road Score 2: 197.300
Home/Road Score 3: 197.000
RQS: 196.460

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.895
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 4

Georgia lagging behind Alabama in RQS at this point is primarily due to that little road 195 that must be counted, at least until this Friday’s visit to Florida (and heaven knows how those scores are going to go—Carol is basically the meet referee at that one). [Edit: CAROL IS ACTUALLY THE MEET REFEREE AT THAT ONE.] Georgia has a good shot to move back up ahead of Alabama once that 195.3 goes away, but the larger issue is how significantly those road scores trail those home scores. Georgia is going to struggle to keep a top-8 ranking unless the road scores pick up a half point on their current level.


9. Auburn Tigers

RQS: 196.425
Official week 7 ranking: 11

Road Score 1: 196.700
Road Score 2: 196.125
Road Score 3: 195.825
Home/Road Score 1: 197.100
Home/Road Score 2: 196.775
Home/Road Score 3: 196.700
RQS: 196.425

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.680
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 4

Like Alabama, RQS suits Auburn because it allows for dropping a first-week 194 that’s currently bringing down the average (RQS rewards peak scoring potential far more than consistency). There’s still a few more bleh road scores to drop, so Auburn should be able to continue improving the RQS enough to hang onto this kind of ranking, but a chance to move into the top 8 will take more scores above that 196.7 zone. A 196.700 pace won’t quite guarantee a top-2 regionals seeding.


10. Michigan Wolverines

RQS: 196.410
Official week 7 ranking: 8

Road Score 1: 197.075
Road Score 2: 196.400
Road Score 3: 196.050
Home/Road Score 1: 197.350
Home/Road Score 2: 196.500
Home/Road Score 3: 196.025
RQS: 196.410

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.675
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 4

Michigan’s RQS position is (somewhat surprisingly) weak right now—two spots weaker than the season-average ranking—mostly because Michigan has lacked the big home scores that teams like Georgia and Auburn are using to pad their totals. It’s a potential concern because Michigan has just one home meet remaining this season, but then again, it’s not like home scoring is typically kind to Michigan. Maybe the best bet for big scores will be the next two weeks on the road—Elevate the Stage and Utah. Michigan does need about 3 more 197s over the remaining 5 meets to guarantee that top-8 spot the team wants. Even that third-best score of 196.500 is pretty meh for a top-8 hopeful.


11. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Average: 196.250
Official week 7 ranking: 14

Road Score 1: 196.925
Road Score 2: 196.600
Road Score 3: 195.475
Home/Road Score 1: 196.850
Home/Road Score 2: 196.725
Home/Road Score 3: 195.600
RQS: 196.250

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.540
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 4

As Minnesota continues to erase those early-season low scores with more and more 196s—now on a streak of four straight weeks of 196.6 or higher—the RQS picture becomes increasingly kind. Minnesota is currently at a point where it needs just two more solid scores over the next five meets to keep a reasonable RQS, because maintaining a ranking like #11 is a win that would have seemed an impossible dream at the beginning of the season. Minnesota and company are a real worry for a team like Alabama, because you look at those four strong scores for Minnesota, and they’re right with what Alabama is posting despite the current ranking disparity.


12. Kentucky Wildcats

RQS: 196.210
Official week 7 ranking: 13

Road Score 1: 197.225
Road Score 2: 196.650
Road Score 3: 195.975
Home/Road Score 1: 197.150
Home/Road Score 2: 196.000
Home/Road Score 3: 195.275
RQS: 196.210

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.600
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 3

Kentucky is still somewhat under-ranked at #12, the result of that low 195 hanging around as well as a couple other borderline 196.0 scores that should be dropped over the next few meets unless things get weird. With two 197s already to its name, Kentucky will expect to move ahead of Minnesota (at least) in the coming weeks, but because of those early low scores, there is still some pressure on the remaining meets. Kentucky needs three big scores out of five.


13. Boise State Broncos

RQS: 196.205
Official week 7 ranking: 10

Road Score 1: 197.175
Road Score 2: 196.525
Road Score 3: 196.075
Home/Road Score 1: 196.625
Home/Road Score 2: 196.400
Home/Road Score 3: 195.400
RQS: 196.205

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.560
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 3

Boise State has ranked well this season on account of relative consistency, dealing with that mid-195 but no exceptionally terrible scores that might take the season average down. RQS, however, doesn’t reward a lack of 194s, just the presence of 197s, which is why Boise State drops a few spots when switching to RQS. Still BSU will expect to improve its current status by dropping that 195.400 soon, and 13th would be a win anyway. 


14. California Golden Bears

RQS: 196.135
Official week 7 ranking: 15

Road Score 1: 196.225
Road Score 2: 196.150
Road Score 3: 196.075
Home/Road Score 1: 196.700
Home/Road Score 2: 196.575
Home/Road Score 3: 195.650
RQS: 196.135

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.345
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 3

Of course, Cal’s current concerns are more of the “what do we do without Toni-Ann” variety rather than the intricacies of RQS, but to get any higher than 14th and challenge for a #3 regionals seeding, Cal will need to start putting 197s on the board, or at least a couple more 196.8s and 196.9s like Alabama and Minnesota are doing. If those don’t come along, the goal instead will be to stay in the top 16 and at least ensure a seeded place at regionals. Filling out a collection of mid-196s by getting 3-4 hits in the remaining 5 meets should be enough to get that done.


15. Missouri Tigers

RQS: 196.100
Official week 7 ranking: 19

Road Score 1: 196.475
Road Score 2: 196.450
Road Score 3: 196.200
Home/Road Score 1: 196.550
Home/Road Score 2: 195.900
Home/Road Score 3: 195.475
RQS: 196.100

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.315
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 2

Missouri does not compete this coming weekend, so expect a bit of a ranking dip as Oregon State and Nebraska will both relish the opportunity to move up a spot with hit meets. Missouri has 3-4 usable scores so far, so it shouldn’t be too much to ask to fill out the rest with mid-196s, even with only four opportunities remaining instead of five. After the events of last weekend, however, the worry is whether vault can get healthy enough to put up a competitive score.


16. Oregon State Beavers

RQS: 196.015
Official week 7 ranking: 12

Road Score 1: 196.350
Road Score 2: 196.100
Road Score 3: 195.225
Home/Road Score 1: 197.450
Home/Road Score 2: 196.950
Home/Road Score 3: 195.450
RQS: 196.015

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.460
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 3

A slow start that saw Oregon State put up a couple 195s in the first two meets is still depressing the team’s RQS, though it also reveals ample opportunity to move up. OSU’s peak RQS after the next meet is higher than both Missouri’s and Cal’s because that 195.225 is just itching to be removed. Oregon State does have a bit of a road score problem, those numbers lagging well behind the two most recent home results. It will be difficult for Oregon State to get any higher than this 14-16 territory without some big 196s on the road, though maintaining at least 16th is the goal.


17. Nebraska Cornhuskers

RQS: 195.945
Official week 7 ranking: 15

Road Score 1: 196.400
Road Score 2: 195.700
Road Score 3: 195.700
Home/Road Score 1: 197.250
Home/Road Score 2: 196.375
Home/Road Score 3: 195.550
RQS: 195.945

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.290
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 3

Nebraska’s somewhat erratic performances seem destined to relegate the team to super-dangeous spoiler status as we head into the elimination meets, but there’s still time to pick things up. Only just. At minimum, Nebraska must remove those 195s with three solid performances in the remaining five meets. Still, even replicating the 196.3/196.4 scores of the last two weekends may not be enough to get Nebraska into the top 16 since the teams ranked directly above should be able to fill out a similar collection of scores. It may, then, take five serious hits in the remaining five meets, a tough task but one that teams like LSU and Utah will want Nebraska to accomplish because they won’t want Nebraska hanging around as a geographically assigned floater team in (probably) the LSU regional. Not with that potential vault rotation.


18. Washington Huskies

RQS: 195.845
Official week 7 ranking: 18

Road Score 1: 196.525
Road Score 2: 196.250
Road Score 3: 195.825
Home/Road Score 1: 196.000
Home/Road Score 2: 195.900
Home/Road Score 3: 195.250
RQS: 195.845

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.100
Meets remaining: 6
Road meets remaining: 4

Washington has a bunch of meets left and therefore doesn’t have to count any of the current scores, which is a good thing because even those lower 196s probably aren’t going to be enough to get up into the top 16 this season. Washington needs five improvement scores over the remaining six meets to have a hope of getting into that territory, so the time is now.


19. Arkansas Razorbacks

RQS: 195.825
Official week 7 ranking: 21

Road Score 1: 196.175
Road Score 2: 196.125
Road Score 3: 195.825
Home/Road Score 1: 195.800
Home/Road Score 2: 195.800
Home/Road Score 3: 195.575
RQS: 195.825

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 195.945
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 2

Arkansas’s early-season schedule was quite road-heavy, which can occasionally be a problem when a team runs out of opportunities to improve the road scores and has to count some January numbers, but Arkansas is much better off with its road scores than its home scores this year. That means the Razorbacks will enjoy—but also very much need to take advantage of—the opportunity to compete against LSU and Florida and home over the next two weeks.


20. Arizona State Sun Devils

RQS: 195.795
Official week 7 ranking: 20

Road Score 1: 196.125
Road Score 2: 195.700
Road Score 3: 195.675
Home/Road Score 1: 196.375
Home/Road Score 2: 195.825
Home/Road Score 3: 195.650
RQS: 195.795

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 195.940
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 3

Arizona State has a couple 196s so far, so the situation is not dire and there’s not too much reason to expect that ASU will fall into a danger zone. At least, as long as those higher 195s can be turned into lower 196s in four of the remaining five meets. High 195s are going to be enough to qualify to regionals this year—teams like Arizona State are basically already safe in that regard—but to ensure that the quirks of the draw don’t stick you in a Thursday elimination play-in, 196s are the score to watch. Lots of borderline teams have high 195s.


21. BYU Cougars

RQS: 195.780
Official week 7 ranking: 17

Road Score 1: 196.425
Road Score 2: 194.975
Road Score 3: 194.575
Home/Road Score 1: 196.900
Home/Road Score 2: 196.475
Home/Road Score 3: 196.450
RQS: 195.780

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.245
Meets remaining: 6
Road meets remaining: 4

BYU presents a real and present danger to the teams currently in the top 16 (the max possible RQS after next week indicates a team itching to move up), but it all depends on the road scores that come over the next four meets. If two of those four meets end up at the mid-196 level that we’ve seen this team hit on occasion, then BYU will have a gigantic RQS because the four good scores are already much higher than what the other teams in this general ranking area have put up. It’s just the road scores dragging things down.


22. Ohio State Buckeyes

RQS: 195.550
Official week 7 ranking: 22

Road Score 1: 196.200
Road Score 2: 196.075
Road Score 3: 196.025
Home/Road Score 1: 195.750
Home/Road Score 2: 195.000
Home/Road Score 3: 194.900
RQS: 195.550

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 195.810
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 3

Things looked very solid for Ohio State in January with all those road 196s, but we’ve seen the pace fall off in the last couple weeks so that OSU isn’t yet out of the play-in danger zone. The good news is that the road scores are already fine, so the remaining scores needed to keep Ohio State in this ranking territory are not venue specific.


23. Stanford Cardinal

RQS: 195.485
Official week 7 ranking: 23

Road Score 1: 196.125
Road Score 2: 195.850
Road Score 3: 195.175
Home/Road Score 1: 195.800
Home/Road Score 2: 195.475
Home/Road Score 3: 195.125
RQS: 195.485

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 195.685
Meets remaining: 3
Road meets remaining: 2

For Stanford, the season schedule presents an urgency of time. There are just three meets left and three scores needed to ensure this RQS is a safe number. The first mission was completed successfully, with Stanford recording two 195.8s over the weekend and getting the current RQS to 195.485, which is already a borderline regionals-qualifying number. Things look a lot better now than they did before the weekend began, but Stanford still cannot afford to keep those 195.1s around. That’s too low a score to feel safe with.


24. Arizona Wildcats

RQS: 195.250
Official week 7 ranking: 25

Road Score 1: 195.400
Road Score 2: 194.975
Road Score 3: 194.750
Home/Road Score 1: 195.975
Home/Road Score 2: 195.650
Home/Road Score 3: 195.475
RQS: 195.250

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 195.495
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 3

Arizona has done pretty well to keep the ranking where it is, but those road 194s have to go because the current RQS of 195.250 is not safe for regionals qualification, let alone staying out of the play-ins. As a western team, Arizona would be fairly likely to be placed geographically into the Oregon State regional (though you can also make an argument for LSU should Oregon State get too full of Utah-based teams). So, the goal for teams like Arizona will be to stay ahead of two other qualifying teams from the same area of the country, thereby avoiding the play-in. If you’re a western team, you need to stay ahead of Southern Utah and Utah State right now to push those two into the Oregon State play-in. That’s a new facet of the postseason system to watch this year, where geography becomes less important for individuals but more important for teams.


25. West Virginia Mountaineers

RQS: 195.200
Official week 7 ranking: 26

Road Score 1: 195.500
Road Score 2: 195.250
Road Score 3: 194.750
Home/Road Score 1: 196.125
Home/Road Score 2: 195.575
Home/Road Score 3: 194.925
RQS: 195.200

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 195.475
Meets remaining: 6
Road meets remaining: 4

West Virginia has been outside the top 25 all season but gets in on RQS because that first-meet 194.1 has already been dropped. The scores are not yet safe, though. There’s very little difference between team 25 and team 29 right now, so while WVU looks good for regionals qualification, it’s going to take a lot of new scores to avoid the play-in. West Virginia does have more opportunities than most to get those scores with six meets remaining, including a number of road competitions.

13 thoughts on “NCAA Week 7 – RQS Outlook”

  1. Thanks for this RQS analysis, really interesting! Would love for you to post something similar for the bubble teams. I really enjoyed the segment you did last week on gymcastic and think those teams will be really interesting to watch, especially those in the potential play-in spots.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. came here to say the same. FYI

      26. NC State
      27. Penn State
      28. Iowa State
      29. New Hampshire
      30. Illinois-Chicago
      31. Utah State
      32. Michigan State
      33. Central Michigan
      34. Iowa
      35. Maryland
      36. Illinois

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Carol is the name of an actual judge in the SEC who has given out absurdly high scores the past couple of years. Her name has become a placeholder for any judge who inflates scores – but, of course, when she’s judging a meet, you know it’s gonna be crazy.

      Like

  2. I definitely didn’t realize that any team in the “geographically placed” teams could be subject to the play-in. So bring ranked top 28 isn’t the goal and some teams ranked lower will avoid the play in while some teams ranked higher will have to do the extra round? That’s nonsensical…

    Like

  3. Why do some of the bold road scores stay for teams, even though they still have 3 or 4 road scores left so technically could still improve all of them?

    Like

    1. Like Kentucky? That bold road score is the highest score the have overall and only 5 meets remain. So even if they improve that score in all three of their remaining road meets, that 197.225 would still count (as a home/road score).

      Liked by 1 person

    2. A team is only required to have THREE road scores out of six for RQS purposes. If a team has better road scores than a home score beyond the three required it makes sense to use four or five road scores and only one “home” score.

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