NCAA Week 8 Rankings and RQS Update

We’re supposed to pretend we’re interested in calling it NQS now instead of RQS—mostly because the new system has individual qualifiers to regionals decided based on their national rankings instead of their regional rankings, making regional classification even less important than it was before—but also like meh. This score still determines who qualifies to regionals, so RQS it is.


1. Oklahoma Sooners

RQS: 197.925
Previous 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: 5
Road meets remaining: 2

Oklahoma retains the #1 ranking this week by a sizable but dwindling margin after recording a no-Nichols, no-Showers 197.150 on Sunday at West Virginia, a semi-miss of a meet with issues on both beam and floor—though no counting falls. Oklahoma cannot afford absences as significant as this and still be a championship-winning team. That we’ve learned. But also duh. While having lost some ground to UCLA, Oklahoma will still retain the #1 ranking next Monday regardless of what happens in the meet between the two on Sunday.


2. UCLA Bruins

RQS: 197.800
Previous ranking: 2

Road Score 1: 198.025
Road Score 2: 197.900
Road Score 3: 197.700
Home/Road Score 1: 198.025
Home/Road Score 2: 197.775
Home/Road Score 3: 197.600
RQS: 197.800

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.885
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 2

Well, it wasn’t boring. (Dear world, holding newspapers in front of your face is harmless and nothing and also welcome to sports and get over it, and MyKayla Skinner absolutely was not underscored and to imply Utah—UTAH—is somehow a poor, oppressed minority that the judges hate is wildly disingenuous. There is no war on Christmas. Now, everyone go in from recess.) Anyway, for all the noise around Utah/UCLA, what really happened is that UCLA performed better gymnastics than Utah did and secured its status in the first tier of teams with a season-high-tying 198.025. What that score served to do is entrench UCLA at #2, unable to be caught by Florida or any other team this coming weekend.


3. Florida Gators

RQS: 197.545
Previous 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: 197.375
RQS: 197.545

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.685
Meets remaining: 3
Road meets remaining: 2

It feels like 80 lifetimes ago that Florida lost to Georgia in the “Carol doesn’t know how to make the email box work” meet, a meet in which Florida was fine-but-kind-of-off in the early going, Things really changed when Florida counted a pretty large mistake on beam to allow Georgia into the meet, without the benefit of a home buffer since both teams were being scored with the same rose-colored code. With those other high 197s, however, Florida will be safe at #3 for another week regardless of what happens this weekend.


4. LSU Tigers

RQS: 197.280
Previous ranking: 5

Road Score 1: 197.450
Road Score 2: 197.250
Road Score 3: 197.125
Home/Road Score 1: 197.650
Home/Road Score 2: 197.425
Home/Road Score 3: 197.150
RQS: 197.280

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.380
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 2

LSU will hardly be pleased with the 197.125 recorded against Arkansas, with less-than-perfect showings across the board bringing the score down to a level that LSU will hope to drop in the coming weeks. Nonetheless, this 197 meant that LSU could drop a low 196 from January that was still hanging around and therefore move ahead of Utah in the rankings. LSU is in some vague danger of falling behind Utah and Denver this weekend but can avert that danger and guarantee staying at #4 by scoring a 197.350, which really isn’t a lot to ask.


5. Utah Utes

RQS: 197.220
Previous ranking: 4

Road Score 1: 197.375
Road Score 2: 197.250
Road Score 3: 197.150
Home/Road Score 1: 197.625
Home/Road Score 2: 197.175
Home/Road Score 3: 197.150
RQS: 197.220

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.315
Meets remaining: 3
Road meets remaining: 2

Despite recording a season high in the loss to UCLA, Utah loses a single place in the rankings because that season high is dropped as part of RQS calculation and the remaining scores were all already pretty similar. That better score, however, does give Utah a bit higher ceiling and the opportunity to pass LSU this weekend should things go just right. Even so, LSU has the higher maximum possible RQS so will be the team determining how that plays out. The new twist is that Utah now also has to watch out for Denver, which could catch Utah with another big result as long as Utah also returns to the lower 197s against Michigan. 


6. Denver Pioneers

RQS: 197.020
Previous ranking: 6

Road Score 1: 197.450
Road Score 2: 196.350
Road Score 3: 196.275
Home/Road Score 1: 197.725
Home/Road Score 2: 197.625
Home/Road Score 3: 197.400
RQS: 197.020

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.310
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 3

Another season high keeps Denver soaring in the rankings, remaining part of the top 6 with some of the highest home scores of any team—about level with what LSU has done and ahead of what Utah has done. The trick will be bringing up those road numbers, which are not yet competitive in this rarefied air. Denver heads to Illinois this weekend with a prime chance to drop one of those lower 196s, which is why Denver has such a high peak score and will entertain the possibility of catching Utah. It would take at least a 197.300 to pass Utah, along with some help from Utah not improving its own RQS. Denver will also have to keep an eye on Georgia, Denver needing a 196.825 to ensure retaining 6th place for another week.


7. Georgia Bulldogs

RQS: 196.890
Previous ranking: 7

Road Score 1: 197.450
Road Score 2: 196.400
Road Score 3: 196.300
Home/Road Score 1: 197.475
Home/Road Score 2: 197.300
Home/Road Score 3: 197.000
RQS: 196.890

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.125
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 3

Georgia did the job in its victory over Florida, recording exactly the kind of road 197 it needed to keep its ranking up and stop relying entirely on home scores to pad the number. There’s still work to do, however, to get rid of those remaining two road 196s that are currently keeping Georgia behind Denver and somewhat vulnerable overall as part of the top 8. Georgia will have the immediate opportunity to get rid of another one road score while visiting LSU this Friday. Georgia is also in some danger of getting passed up by Michigan this week but can ensure a spot in the top 7 with a 196.950.


8. Alabama Crimson Tide

RQS: 196.735
Previous ranking: 9

Road Score 1: 196.900
Road Score 2: 196.850
Road Score 3: 196.800
Home/Road Score 1: 196.850
Home/Road Score 2: 196.700
Home/Road Score 3: 196.475
RQS: 196.735

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.820
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 3

The elusive 197 remains just as elusive for Alabama following another 9.8-a-thon for 196.800 in a loss to Kentucky. Alabama’s scores are getting quite tightly packed, which means there will be little chance to improve its RQS by any significant amount this coming weekend. In fact, Alabama is a little helpless this week because both Michigan and Kentucky have higher peak possible RQSs. The game’s getting pretty exciting. The question remains, is Alabama really just a high-196 team, or has Alabama not received the same level of charitable evaluation that some of its peer teams in the SEC have received? Or both?


9. Michigan Wolverines

RQS: 196.675
Previous ranking: 8

Road Score 1: 197.750
Road Score 2: 197.075
Road Score 3: 196.400
Home/Road Score 1: 197.350
Home/Road Score 2: 196.500
Home/Road Score 3: 196.050
RQS: 196.675

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.015
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 3

A giant score over the weekend allowed Michigan to improve its RQS by multiple tenths this week. There are still enough lower 196s on the slate to keep Michigan at a somewhat modest ranking of #9, but that also means there’s plenty of room to improve this coming weekend with the visit to Utah. By scoring 196.800, Michigan can guarantee moving ahead of Alabama regardless of what Alabama does. Based on the performances last two weeks, that score should be quite reasonable. The most hilarious news of the week was Natalie Wojcik basically exploding her knees on a 1.5 and the judges being like, “This one is the 10.”


10. Kentucky Wildcats

RQS: 196.595
Previous ranking: 13

Road Score 1: 197.225
Road Score 2: 196.650
Road Score 3: 195.975
Home/Road Score 1: 197.200
Home/Road Score 2: 197.150
Home/Road Score 3: 196.000
RQS: 196.595

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.845
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 3

Kentucky is continuing to drop those little nasties from the beginning of the year and steadily and surely move up the rankings as a result, with a lot more ground still to be gained. A 196.000 and 195.975 are loitering around, neither score really reflecting the quality of the team and both likely to be dropped soon. Like Michigan, Kentucky will also have its sights set on passing Alabama this weekend and can guarantee doing so with a 197.125. That’s especially significant because that would put Kentucky in position for the evening session at SECs instead of Alabama. Still three weeks of meets to decide that, though.


11. Minnesota Golden Gophers

RQS: 196.495
Previous ranking: 14

Road Score 1: 196.925
Road Score 2: 196.700
Road Score 3: 196.600
Home/Road Score 1: 196.850
Home/Road Score 2: 196.725
Home/Road Score 3: 195.600
RQS: 196.495

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.760
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 3

Minnesota recorded yet another solid 196 over the weekend and has what is shaping up to be a hearty slate of numbers—five very usable scores and just one more low one to drop in the remaining four meets. That would already clinch a very respectable ranking for the end of the regular season. With the opportunity to drop that 195.600 in the home finale this weekend, Minnesota could gain multiple tenths and ranking spots but will still be subject to the performances of the teams ranked above because all of them have higher peaks.


12. Auburn Tigers

RQS: 196.425
Previous 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: 4
Road meets remaining: 3

A fall-counting, no-9.9s performance against TWU saw Auburn go 195.500 and miss an opportunity to drop one of those two lower road scores, both of which need to go in the remaining three road meets if Auburn is to retain a healthy seeding at regionals. Back-to-back road meet weekends against Alabama present the opportunity to do just that. Those 196.7s are befitting the top 12, but only if the whole thing is 196.7s.


13. Boise State Broncos

RQS: 196.400
Previous ranking: 10

Road Score 1: 197.175
Road Score 2: 196.525
Road Score 3: 196.375
Home/Road Score 1: 196.625
Home/Road Score 2: 196.400
Home/Road Score 3: 196.075
RQS: 196.400

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.620
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 2

A 196.375 is nothing to sneeze at and did allow Boise State to drop a previously counting 195 and improve its RQS, but the real concern will be an injury to Shani Remme that caused her to stop on floor for no score and withdraw from the remainder of the meet. Any time missed for Remme would be devastating to Boise State’s home-stretch prospects as the scores so far are quite good but not a lock for the top-16 just yet.


14. California Golden Bears

RQS: 196.335
Previous 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: 196.650
Home/Road Score 3: 196.575
RQS: 196.335

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.460
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 3

Hitting for a near season high in the first meet ATA was an important moment for Cal and allowed for the dismissal of the final straggling 195 that was still hanging around the RQS picture. Williams’ absence was felt on vault and floor, but the team hit well enough to make it not glaring. Next assignment, road scores. Cal doesn’t have any super solid road scores yet and will need to pick those numbers up to stay in the top 16. The performance on Saturday was enough to move ahead of Oregon State for the moment, a critical position as they both attempt to hold off Washington and make the evening session at Pac-12s.


15. Oregon State Beavers

RQS: 196.300
Previous ranking: 12

Road Score 1: 196.650
Road Score 2: 196.350
Road Score 3: 196.100
Home/Road Score 1: 197.450
Home/Road Score 2: 196.950
Home/Road Score 3: 195.450
RQS: 196.300

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.700
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 2

Oregon State improved its RQS with a solid 196.650 against ASU over the weekend, just not by quite enough to keep up with the improvements made by other teams. For the moment. This is likely to change, as OSU will relish the opportunity to move up a number of spaces this weekend with a massive home score, able to guarantee a spot in the top 12 with a season high (a tough ask) but able to guarantee moving back ahead of Cal with just a 196.275.


16. Missouri Tigers

RQS: 196.100
Previous 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 was idle last weekend but will have the opportunity to begin erasing those leftover 195s when hosting Kentucky on Friday. There’s quite a gap right now between the top 15 and everyone else, so there’s only a very slim chance that Missouri can move up. Missouri’s main aim right now will be to retain #16. Nebraska and BYU do have higher peaks this week, but Missouri can fend off Washington at least by going into the 196s.


17. Washington Huskies

RQS: 196.065
Previous ranking: 18

Road Score 1: 196.525
Road Score 2: 196.350
Road Score 3: 196.250
Home/Road Score 1: 196.000
Home/Road Score 2: 195.900
Home/Road Score 3: 195.825
RQS: 196.065

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.205
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 3

It got better for Washington over the weekend, recording a solid-enough 196.350 despite losing to Cal, going over 49 on three events. Beam remains more of a question mark than it should be for this team (right now I worry about the rhythm deductions in front of a panel that might care about that), but a few of those beam scores have started to come. It’s going to be a multi-week project to build up the RQS because Washington has a lower peak right now than the adjacent teams.


18. Nebraska Cornhuskers

RQS: 196.015
Previous ranking: 15

Road Score 1: 196.400
Road Score 2: 195.900
Road Score 3: 195.700
Home/Road Score 1: 197.250
Home/Road Score 2: 196.375
Home/Road Score 3: 195.700
RQS: 196.015

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.325
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 2

Cause of death: Nebraska. It continues to not really happen for Nebraska at most meets, this weekend bringing a 9.7-a-thon on bars and beam to take the total below 196. They attempted five Y1.5s this weekend, hitting four, but the landings weren’t secure enough to get the scores out of the lower 9.8s, which most of these athletes are going to get for fulls anyway, so watch that space. Nebraska does return home this week and will have an opportunity to guarantee moving back into the top 16 and jumping ahead of Missouri and Washington by scoring 197.225. The homes scores have been there for them so far this year.


19. BYU Cougars

RQS: 195.995
Previous ranking: 17

Road Score 1: 196.425
Road Score 2: 195.650
Road Score 3: 194.975
Home/Road Score 1: 196.900
Home/Road Score 2: 196.475
Home/Road Score 3: 196.450
RQS: 195.995

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.380
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 3

Eyes have been on BYU’s road scores because that will determine whether the team’s ranking can ever befit the level of those home scores, or get toward regionals-seeding territory. The 195.650 result against SUU was sort of middling (it was originally worse, but a surprising 9.575 that first came up for a solid beam from Boden was later revised to 9.825), better than the 194 that was counting before that but also not the road score of a seeded team. BYU has three road meets left and needs a couple more 196s in them. If the score comes, the sky is the limit in terms of rankings with that 196.380 maximum.


20. Arkansas Razorbacks

RQS: 195.945
Previous ranking: 21

Road Score 1: 196.175
Road Score 2: 196.125
Road Score 3: 195.825
Home/Road Score 1: 196.375
Home/Road Score 2: 195.800
Home/Road Score 3: 195.800
RQS: 195.945

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 196.060
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 2

Arkansas recorded a “we can still do better” season high of 196.375 in falling to LSU, a score that was brought down by having to count a semi-miss on bars for 9.475 and take away what would otherwise have been a high 196. With the bold scores already set to count, it’s going to be a challenge to get up into that top 16 and will require counterbalancing them with some high 196s starting pretty much immediately. There is a chance to move up a couple spots this week if Arkansas has another season high and either Nebraska or BYU have a missed meet.


FAST FORWARD NOISES

Most of the teams in the rest of the top 25 and that general ranking area are currently in in-between territory where it looks like they’re already basically safe for regionals qualification but are also unlikely to reach the seeded zone unless something fancy happens. So, let’s look past the top 25 now and fast forward to the teams currently in regionals qualification (and play-in meet) danger zone. The part where it gets really good.


29. New Hampshire Wildcats

RQS: 195.135
Previous ranking: 31

Road Score 1: 196.025
Road Score 2: 195.375
Road Score 3: 194.950
Home/Road Score 1: 195.500
Home/Road Score 2: 194.925
Home/Road Score 3: 194.925
RQS: 195.135

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 195.355
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 1

New Hampshire currently has a bit of a buffer in being ranked #29 and only needing to make the top 36 to stay alive, but the absence of road-meet opportunities is a concern because that 195.375 road score guaranteed to count isn’t amazing and there’s only one road meet remaining. That road meet (March 17) needs to be a hit for a solid 195 (as do three of the remaining four meets) otherwise there could be some vulnerable scores in here.


30. Illinois Illini

RQS: 195.110
Previous ranking: 34

Road Score 1: 195.650
Road Score 2: 195.525
Road Score 3: 194.675
Home/Road Score 1: 195.175
Home/Road Score 2: 195.100
Home/Road Score 3: 195.075
RQS: 195.110

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 195.225
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 3

Things are looking better for Illinois than they did a couple weeks ago following two mid-195s, the team’s highest scores of the season and two numbers that are around the territory we’re looking for to qualify to regionals. Still, those are the only two really usable scores Illinois currently has, so there’s still pressure on getting four hits out of the remaining five meets. It will be interesting to see what happens with regional placements because Illinois has the benefit of some geographically similar teams ranked just below (UIC, Iowa) and could escape a play-in even with a fairly low ranking by staying ahead of those two.


31. UIC Flames

RQS: 195.050
Previous ranking: 33

Road Score 1: 195.250
Road Score 2: 195.200
Road Score 3: 194.700
Home/Road Score 1: 195.500
Home/Road Score 2: 195.100
Home/Road Score 3: 195.000
RQS: 195.050

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 195.210
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 5

As if UIC wasn’t already a sentimental favorite by being the only team that’s name also doubles as an expression of fury upon seeing a nemesis (“You! I see FLAMES!”), UIC also participated in its probably-last-ever home meet on Sunday, going 195.500 in victory for a season high. Right now, we’re becoming increasingly likely to see UIC’s season extended a little longer than expected with presence at a regional, but there’s still work to do and this position is far from safe. Compared to the other teams in this section of the rankings, that 195.210 max possible score after the next meet is pretty low. At the very, least that 194.700 and 195.000 will need to go, and perhaps all of the remaining non-gold scores have to be dropped because scoring pace currently indicates a regionals cutoff around 195.3 or 195.4.


32. Maryland Terrapins

RQS: 194.980
Previous ranking: 32

Road Score 1: 195.500
Road Score 2: 195.325
Road Score 3: 195.275
Home/Road Score 1: 195.950
Home/Road Score 2: 194.950
Home/Road Score 3: 193.850
RQS: 194.980

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 195.400
Meets remaining: 6
Road meets remaining: 4

Despite being in somewhat dangerous ranking territory, things are looking pretty good for Maryland because the team has six meets remaining (and 2-3 usable scores already recorded) and a very low score left to drop to allow for shooting up the standings. Maryland has two opportunities to get rid of that score with meets on Friday and Monday. Even averaging 195.350 at those two meets would guarantee putting Maryland ahead of UNH, Illinois, and UIC in the in-progress rankings.


33. Iowa Hawkeyes

RQS: 194.965
Previous ranking: 40

Road Score 1: 196.450
Road Score 2: 195.375
Road Score 3: 194.775
Home/Road Score 1: 195.400
Home/Road Score 2: 194.700
Home/Road Score 3: 194.575
RQS: 194.965

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 195.340
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 3

Perhaps the most important score achieved by any team over the weekend was Iowa’s massive 196.450 at the Big Five meet, making this whole RQS outlook a lot safer. Not fully safe, though. Iowa still has three unusable scores on the RQS slate with only four meets remaining, so minimal margin for error, still. The good news for Iowa is that a 195.900 this weekend would guarantee the team of moving ahead of Illinois and UIC and creating more buffer for a top 36 spot.


34. George Washington Colonials

RQS: 194.955
Previous ranking: 36

Road Score 1: 195.350
Road Score 2: 194.975
Road Score 3: 194.625
Home/Road Score 1: 195.400
Home/Road Score 2: 195.350
Home/Road Score 3: 194.475
RQS: 194.955

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 195.140
Meets remaining: 5
Road meets remaining: 4

With a Friday and a Monday meet this week, GW has a few more opportunities left to get scores but will need to take those opportunities because only three of the six numbers currently look helpful for regionals, and only just. Some high 195s have to come soon. George Washington is going to need some help to move up the rankings right now because the max possible RQS after Friday’s meet isn’t nearly as high as the that of the ranked above and is lower than Utah State’s.


35. Utah State Aggies

RQS: 194.865
Previous ranking: 30

Road Score 1: 196.075
Road Score 2: 194.975
Road Score 3: 194.850
Home/Road Score 1: 194.975
Home/Road Score 2: 194.925
Home/Road Score 3: 194.600
RQS: 194.865

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 195.160
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 3

The switch to RQS wasn’t particularly kind to Utah State because USU didn’t have as many score disasters to drop as the other teams in this area, which made the team look better on average than it does on RQS. Five scores in the 194s are still hanging around, including one that’s guaranteed to count. Bold 194s are the big warning sign. They mean Utah State needs a couple new scores not just in the 195.3 zone but more like the 195.6 to get to safety.


36. UC Davis Aggies

RQS: 194.775
Previous ranking: 38

Road Score 1: 195.225
Road Score 2: 194.950
Road Score 3: 194.525
Home/Road Score 1: 195.525
Home/Road Score 2: 195.050
Home/Road Score 3: 194.125
RQS: 194.775

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 195.055
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 2

Currently holding into the final qualification spot is UC Davis with three 195s and two bold scores that are at least fairly believable for regionals qualification. You could see it happening as long as that 194.1 and 194.5 go away. But, Davis’s peak score after this weekend is lower than both CMU and Kent State and is even with Pitt, so this is still a very precarious position


37. Michigan State Spartans

RQS: 194.755
Previous ranking: 43

Road Score 1: 194.900
Road Score 2: 194.625
Road Score 3: 194.575
Home/Road Score 1: 195.425
Home/Road Score 2: 195.225
Home/Road Score 3: 194.450
RQS: 194.755

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 194.950
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 3

It has been a couple years since Michigan State made regionals, and this season is making a more compelling argument than the last couple did. Like UC Davis, the bold scores are in contention, but for MSU, the road scores are not yet at a level to earn a top 36 spot. You can’t really make regionals without proving the ability to go away for 195 at least a couple times. The next two weekends on the road will determine MSU’s fate.


38. Pittsburgh Panthers

RQS: 194.715
Previous ranking: 36

Road Score 1: 195.100
Road Score 2: 194.825
Road Score 3: 193.725
Home/Road Score 1: 195.425
Home/Road Score 2: 195.175
Home/Road Score 3: 194.750
RQS: 194.715

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 195.055
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 4

One of the reasons that teams currently in the top 36 need to be wary is that there are under-ranked schools like Pittsburgh hanging around that will move up in a second even without putting up a remarkable number. Pitt has a very low 193.725 that will be dropped with even the most modest of meets this weekend and has the exact same max RQS as UC Davis, currently ranked #36. But, the same notion still applies if Pitt is looking finish in that top 36s. The 194s have to go.


39. Central Michigan Chippewas

RQS: 194.675
Previous ranking: 39

Road Score 1: 195.175
Road Score 2: 194.200
Road Score 3: 193.675
Home/Road Score 1: 195.775
Home/Road Score 2: 195.275
Home/Road Score 3: 195.050
RQS: 195.465

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 195.095
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 3

Central Michigan started the process of salvaging the season over the weekend with a very necessary, none-too-soon 195.775 in the first meet without Reighard. That’s the kind of score that will get CMU back into the top 36, a goal that is still very doable. Like Pitt, CMU will be optimistic about its chances to move up this coming week after dropping that 193 having a higher peak score than Davis, MSU, or Pitt.


40. Lindenwood Lions

RQS: 194.665
Previous ranking: 42

Road Score 1: 195.350
Road Score 2: 195.275
Road Score 3: 194.350
Home/Road Score 1: 194.850
Home/Road Score 2: 194.550
Home/Road Score 3: 194.300
RQS: 194.665

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 194.875
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 3

The great hope of DII is on the outside looking in with respect to regional spots, but Lindenwood is still in this thing with a fighting chance because nothing too problematic has had to become bold yet. Those two bold scores are reasonable, but the other four have to follow suit right now. Lindenwood went 194.850 its last time out, which is a solid result but not a regionals-qualifying result. In the next three meets, Lindenwood will be at home, followed by two meets with SEC teams present, and will hope that helps get the score-scape into the 195s.


41. Kent State Golden Flashes

RQS: 194.545
Previous ranking: 48

Road Score 1: 195.800
Road Score 2: 195.550
Road Score 3: 194.550
Home/Road Score 1: 195.725
Home/Road Score 2: 194.925
Home/Road Score 3: 192.075
RQS: 194.545

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 195.290
Meets remaining: 4
Road meets remaining: 2

Kent State is currently well back, but that’s going to change in a moment with that extremely low 192.075 left to be dropped. Once it is, Kent State has stronger 195s than most of the other teams in this ranking section and will have the inside track on advancing to regionals, making things even tougher for those other borderline teams. It will only take a 194.850 this weekend to get KSU back into the top 36.


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28 thoughts on “NCAA Week 8 Rankings and RQS Update”

  1. “The question remains, is Alabama really just a high-196 team, or has Alabama not received the same level of charitable evaluation that some of its peer teams in the SEC have received? Or both?”

    I’d say both. While the scoring is certainly responsible for not breaking 197, the team itself is not exactly screaming 197ness. Though not as much as UCLA, Florida and Oklahoma, the talent is still very much there. What I keep noticing, however, is that Alabama gymnasts don’t improve. Three quarters of the way through the regular season, they look almost exactly as they did in the first meet, and the same applies for the returning gymnasts when comparing their own performances in previous years. I don’t want to sound tragic, but I do think Duckworth and the rest of the coaching staff are a big part of the problem here.

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    1. I completely agree. As much as I really love Duckworth, I wouldn’t be surprised if her job is in jeopardy if they miss Nationals at championship-obsessed Alabama. It would send the wrong message, however, to get rid of a coach who seems to truly care about her athletes.
      She’s not the only caring coach I think could be in trouble.

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      1. I’m a big fan of The Tide – one of the girls I trained with won a National Championship in the 90’s with Sarah – but I’m definitely worried about the direction of the team. I do think scoring is something of issue, and while you can’t help what deductions they judges want to see or not see, you can keep them from noticing things. I wouldn’t call any of their meets a “hit” this year. They don’t look as solid or POLISHED as they have in the past.

        That being said, I do generally like Dana and agree she wants what best for the team. But there’s a disconnect somewhere…be it in recruiting or coaching. I do believe she’s gotten burned with some recruits. I was excited when Key signed, but now there’s two years in a row of a scholarship being wasted. Then Ernst medically retired before the season started.

        My hope is that next year she can made the necessary changes and get Bama back to being Bama. There’s a tremendous amount of talent that will be back next year: Childers, Desch, and Mahoney will be senior leaders with Graber an upperclassman, and Gaskins and Olsen as sophomores. With the right recruits to come in shore up holes in the line-up, it could very well be a much-improved team.

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      2. I don’t want to say the name of the other coach I’m concerned about. This is someone who seems to care about her team and sets a good tone, but the team underperforms and can’t hit. This coach isn’t at a high-profile school, so I have no idea if the school prioritizes gymnastics and would make a change. I feel bad talking about the coaches at the smaller schools, but Duckworth knew the high stakes she signed up for so I feel it’s fair to talk about her.

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      3. IU ErBear Runs: I agree that Dana’s definitely gotten burned on some of her big get recruits. However, the same was historically true of UCLA, and for the most part they were able to keep a top 5 ranking. It seems to me that other similar situations don’t always result in the same problems. What do you think?

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    2. I agree on Duckworth as well. I love her passion, enthusiasm, and genuine caring that she shows her athletes, but if the team underachieves in the post-season again this year (for the third year in a row), then I think she will be on the hot seat next year. At this point, Alabama is at real risk of being in the afternoon session at SECs.

      It’s hard to pinpoint the problem. I actually think she has increased the artistry in the beam and floor routines, but as someone else stated, the team just doesn’t seem to be getting much better. Some of it is scoring. There haven’t really been any meets where the judges were drunk at Alabama meets this season. With judging that some other teams have gotten, Alabama probably would have a few 197.1 or 197.2 ish meets, but that’s really it. The team looks like a 9.85 team, when looking at the roster, they should be putting up multiple 9.9s across every event. Hard to say that it’s not a coaching issue.

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      1. BUT…

        If Alabama ends up with a high 196 RQS (I agree with Spencer) but drops down to the 9-12 or 13 group they would be a very dangerous three seed at regionals, especially if they hit handstands on bars and stick landings on vault, beam, floor. That’s several tenths right there that puts them well over 197.

        Where would Alabama most likely go – Georgia or LSU? Both those teams are vulnerable (though UGA home scoring is unbearable but the Tide did rightly win there earlier this season).

        If Alabama gymnasts don’t make counting mistakes and hit handstands and landings in postseason (in the era of Sarah they were known for blah regular seasons and striking favourites through the hearts in postseason) they can do some damage to the 5-8 group of teams and even to the top four teams if they’re not on their game.

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  2. Spencer,

    Your write-up about the UCLA-Utah gymnastics meet was spot on. I was at the meet, and I think UCLA was about .200 better.
    If Merrell-Giles hits on floor, that’s about where the meet ends.

    For all the fans upset about the newspapers, you’re lame! Thousands of fans from different sports have done that – it’s a sport!
    Now, watch this video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=whpJ19RJ4JY

    Gymnasts are athletes, gymnastics is a sport, and you need to lose your archaic way of thinking!

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    1. My comments are that this shit goes on at every school in every sport. As a student at Indiana University, a school with a rabid-fan base and a legendary chair-throwing coach in Bob Knight, we’ve done some stuff. We’ve held up the papers during the starting line-up, chanted and yelled, we were even threatened with technical fouls before. The Big Ten is a competitive basketball conference and we wanted to see our school succeed.

      I have no problem with Utah doing this. As I said, it happens all over, especially in men’s sports, and no one get’s their panties with in a *Twitter* when it does happen.

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  3. I’m an OU fan but they’ve been frustrating me this season, I’m really not sure how they’ve been able to hold onto the number 1 spot week after week, come postseason they can’t beat UCLA or Florida with these performances.
    They’ve also been so hush-hush about their injuries. I honestly don’t even know if Bre hasn’t been in the lineups because she’s injured or because she’s had some misses this season(or if she’s had some misses this season BECAUSE she’s injured). And Maggie? Is her injury REALLY just a “bruised heel” cuz…she was rested again this past weekend…
    And why haven’t Bre and Maggie’s fill-ins been hitting their routines?
    The only spot where OU has an advantage over UCLA and Florida is Vault. They have 7 10.0 starts so even if Maggie is out they can still put up 6. Florida put up 6 this past weekend but they still have more deductions than OU(particularly on landings).
    Postseason should be interesting!

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    1. I saw it reported elsewhere that Showers had ACL surgery so that would suggest she is done for the season.

      Whether that’s true or not, the fact that she hasn’t even been in the bar lineup has not been a good sign.

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    2. I feel like all of the Big Three have had two problem lineups this year. With Oklahoma it’s bars and floor, with UCLA it’s vault and bars, and with Florida it’s vault and beam. Florida especially has also had problem meets this season, and Oklahoma has had strong showings where they are one-worthy. But yeah, considering their season overall, it seems strange they’ve been the top team every week. Championships should be very interesting since they all have had noticeable ups and downs.

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  4. Adding to the weirdness of her disappearance, OU’s Bre Showers seems to have deleted her Instagram and absent from pics from her teammates?

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    1. I saw on her twitter that Maggie had a death in the family this week – that may be contributing to her being held out?

      I also heard a rumour (nothing official) that Bre Showers had ACL surgery in the last week or so and that’s why she didn’t travel.

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  5. Here’s my anonymous confusion about the Skinner 10 debate. Look, I can accept it when people try to “academically” debate her scores vs. imperfect 10s that we’ve seen this season.

    What I don’t get is all these Skinner super-fans coming out of the woodwork. I’ve seen people post about how Mykayla is in a class above all other college gymnastics, the greatest athlete they’ve ever seen live, etc. She probably wasn’t even the most talented athlete in that meet, right?
    Ross is multi-time world AA medalist (behind Simone). If we took Kyla and Skinner today and put them in a vacuum for two years and gave them the best gym, doctors, etc…personally, I would put my money on Ross to beat Skinner in the AA at the end of that time.

    It’s amazing that Skinner’s body can handle doing the double double every week, but that’s just one measure out of many. After all they’ve devoted to the sport, all of these gymnasts have earned the right to choose what is healthy for them if it’s within the code. And that doesn’t actually make them worse athletes.

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    1. I think the issue is that Skinner is “not playing nice” and like the Nike video shows, women in sports are often described as irrational, emotional, etc. if they don’t play the stereotypical meek, gracious, humble athlete. It’s frankly a double standard but at it’s core I think that’s what is behind a lot of the Skinner love/hate controversy (i.e. what is the “proper” way to behave as a gymnast).

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      1. I do not think that is the issue at all. A lot of people genuinely believe Skinner is the best college gymnast and being screwed by the judges. They also seem to believe that she should be getting credit for her difficulty that she is not getting. Utah’s pr machine, Skinner herself, even the SLC newspaper all support this perspective and feed into it, so I’m not surprised that enthusiastic fans believe it. Defending her behavior on the above basis (“if she was a male athlete, you wouldn’t complain about this!”) is a frequently employed tactic but I don’t think that’s what draws people to support her in the first place.

        I don’t really want to restart Skinner debates – everyone’s going to have their own opinions on her and that’s fine. I do wish some of Skinner’s superfans would just accept that it’s ok for others to dislike a gymnast and it doesn’t matter what it’s based on.. people on here have claimed that Nia Dennis seems arrogant and full of herself based on her beam choreo, and I never see a screaming horde pop out to defend her. You like Skinner. I don’t. That’s ok!

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      2. Let’s debate sexism in sports.
        MyKayla Skinner treatment for her attitude “problem” vs. Ryan Loche (swimmer) or Tyrell Owens (football) for their attitude “problems”.

        Go.

        Have fun.

        🙂

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      3. I think the 10 issue is that other routines less 10-ish have received the 10. Her floor against UCLA was far superior to Tratz and was only .05 score higher. It was worth at least 9.95 not 9.925. I think her beam was a bit high but with Ross getting 9.925 on a vault where she was off balance and a minimum .1 hop, the comparisons are where the questions come into play. Do I think her floor was a 10 on Saturday, technically no, she had a small slide with one foot but so did Hano, Ohashi (several small goobers and still a 9.925) This is the issue. Utah has been under scored comparatively – i.e. Denver, LSU, Georgia, Florida OK and yes UCLA. Do I think they should have won – absolutely not UCLA is probably going to repeat. They are healthy, and confident. I do think that Utah should be 3 or 4 and not 5. Time will tell.

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      4. The problem I have with the whole “10” debate is that people are focused on the foot slide but the jump is a bigger error IMHO. The 1½ is cheated as she lands and then slides the final bit of rotation on the floor.

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      5. to the commenter below, LSU has absolutely not been overscored this year in the same way as the Big 3 (and perhaps Denver, though I haven’t been following them closely). So, don’t put them in with that crew – that Finnegan hasn’t scored a 10 (given the landscape of 10s) is fairly criminal. Also, I think the current rankings (RQS/NQS) do probably reflect what’s going to happen at the end of the year – though its somewhat of toss up between LSU and Utah if Utah can get better on beam. Also FL has been looking more vulnerable later in the season, so there could be some reshuffling there if LSU and Utah have better hit meets in post season.

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