Final NQS Scenarios

1. Oklahoma Sooners

NQS: 198.115
Previous ranking: 1

Road Score 1: 198.200
Road Score 2: 198.075
Road Score 3: 198.050
Home/Road Score 1: 198.325
Home/Road Score 2: 198.275
Home/Road Score 3: 197.975
NQS: 198.115

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 198.185

Oklahoma recorded its 5th 198 of the season in defeating Alabama over the weekend, clinching the overall #1 ranking for the postseason and leaving only one question—whether the team can use its performance at Big 12s to break the all-time RQS (NQS…) record of 198.120, set by Oklahoma last season. That requires a score of 198.000 to tie, 198.025 to break.

2. UCLA Bruins

NQS: 197.885
Previous ranking: 2

Road Score 1: 198.025
Road Score 2: 197.900
Road Score 3: 197.700
Home/Road Score 1: 198.325
Home/Road Score 2: 198.025
Home/Road Score 3: 197.775
NQS: 197.885

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 198.010

UCLA’s “we’re honoring Miss Val by being all over the place” competition did nothing to change the team’s NQS, but because the NQS was high enough to begin with, UCLA is already set at finishing the season #2 regardless of what happens at the conference championship.

3. LSU Tigers

NQS: 197.680
Previous ranking: 4

Road Score 1: 198.175
Road Score 2: 197.450
Road Score 3: 197.250
Home/Road Score 1: 198.150
Home/Road Score 2: 197.900
Home/Road Score 3: 197.650
NQS: 197.475

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 197.865
Possible ranking range: 3-4

Our first shakeup in the rankings comes as a result of LSU traveling to the land that COP forgot to score a 198.175 at Arizona, just enough to pass up Florida for #3 in the rankings and therefore get Olympic order in the evening session at the SEC Championship. LSU will be looking to score a 197.950 at SECs, the number required to clinch this ranking position regardless of Florida’s score. Since SECs are in New Orleans this year, LSU will enjoy the benefit of being the de facto home team while also getting to use the number as a road score. 

4. Florida Gators

NQS: 197.675
Previous ranking: 3

Road Score 1: 198.025
Road Score 2: 197.500
Road Score 3: 197.325
Home/Road Score 1: 198.025
Home/Road Score 2: 197.850
Home/Road Score 3: 197.675
NQS: 197.675

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 197.815
Possible ranking range: 3-4

With a week off, Florida was not able to improve its NQS and has fallen behind LSU in the rankings. Florida will also not be able to control its own destiny for that #3 ranking position as LSU has the higher maximum possible NQS following SEC Championships. Which means that Florida could win SECs and still find itself ranked below LSU if the meet is super close and both teams are getting season-high-type scores, allowing LSU to take advantage of having that higher maximum. Florida’s goal will be to win SECs by more than a tenth AND have LSU stay below that 197.950 marker. If both teams go 198, LSU is staying ahead regardless of who wins.

5. Denver Pioneers

NQS: 197.540
Previous ranking: 5

Road Score 1: 197.775
Road Score 2: 197.450
Road Score 3: 197.225
Home/Road Score 1: 197.725
Home/Road Score 2: 197.675
Home/Road Score 3: 197.625
NQS: 197.540

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 197.650

Denver ventured back out on the road over the weekend to score a perfectly acceptable low 197, enough to improve the team’s NQS and stay at #5 but not enough to challenge the higher-ranked teams. Denver is now one of the set teams—able to go no higher and no lower than 5th regardless of the score at Big 12s.

6. Utah Utes

NQS: 197.375
Previous ranking: 6

Road Score 1: 197.450
Road Score 2: 197.375
Road Score 3: 197.250
Home/Road Score 1: 197.975
Home/Road Score 2: 197.625
Home/Road Score 3: 197.175
NQS: 197.375

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 197.535
Possible ranking range: 6-8

Utah scored a road season high against Georgia, but as the final score was 197.450, it didn’t make a huge dent against the other teams in this portion of the rankings. We can expect a big number at Pac-12s (once again, Utah as the de facto home team for a road meet), and Utah will need a least a moderately solid number because even though the Utes can move no higher than 6th this weekend, there is still a threat from Georgia and Michigan. That threat can be snuffed out by Utah scoring 197.425 at Pac-12s.

7. Michigan Wolverines

NQS: 197.200
Previous ranking: 7

Road Score 1: 197.750
Road Score 2: 197.350
Road Score 3: 197.075
Home/Road Score 1: 197.425
Home/Road Score 2: 197.350
Home/Road Score 3: 196.800
NQS: 197.200

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 197.390
Possible ranking range: 6-9

Michigan’s 196.800 from the weekend does count as part of the six NQS scores but only just barely. The team will be looking to drop that score immediately with its performance at Big 10s and should do so with anything resembling a hit meet. The problem for Michigan is that Georgia has a higher peak score after this week, so even with a season high, Michigan could fall a spot in the rankings if Georgia reaches its goal score at SECs. Michigan will also be looking to stamp out any threat from Kentucky, which can be done with a 197.125.

8. Georgia Bulldogs

NQS: 197.195
Previous ranking: 8

Road Score 1: 197.450
Road Score 2: 197.350
Road Score 3: 196.400
Home/Road Score 1: 197.525
Home/Road Score 2: 197.475
Home/Road Score 3: 197.300
NQS: 197.195

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 197.420
Possible ranking range: 6-9

Georgia recorded a season high in its home victory over Utah, but there was only so much NQS improvement Georgia could achieve in that meet because the home scores were already solid. Removing that 196 road score is still the major goal, and it’s why Georgia has a higher potential NQS after this week than Michigan does (and could also pass Utah if Utah doesn’t have a great meet of its own). Georgia will be aiming for a 197.400 at SECs to guarantee passing Michigan. At a bare minimum, Georgia is looking for 196.750, the score needed to ensure retaining #8.

9. Kentucky Wildcats

NQS: 197.085
Previous ranking: 9

Road Score 1: 197.225
Road Score 2: 197.200
Road Score 3: 196.650
Home/Road Score 1: 197.525
Home/Road Score 2: 197.200
Home/Road Score 3: 197.150
NQS: 197.085

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 197.260
Possible ranking range: 7-9

With its 197.200 against Nebraska, Kentucky easily smashed the mark needed to qualify to the evening session at SECs and will be competing in that coveted four come Saturday. That 197.2 also served to elevate Kentucky to a ranking higher echelon, unable to be caught by anyone ranked below—only able to gain ranking spots this weekend. But with a lower maximum NQS than the other teams in the top 9, Kentucky’s chances to do that are entirely dependent on the performances of those 7-8 teams, which don’t have to do a ton to stay ahead of UK. The most likely outcome has Kentucky finishing right here at #9.

10. Alabama Crimson Tide

NQS: 196.900
Previous ranking: 11

Road Score 1: 197.250
Road Score 2: 197.100
Road Score 3: 196.900
Home/Road Score 1: 196.850
Home/Road Score 2: 196.850
Home/Road Score 3: 196.800
NQS: 196.900

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 196.990
Possible ranking range: 10-11

Alabama managed to gain a spot in the rankings this week after recording another season high of 197.250 against Oklahoma. Although it’s still just a 197.250, which is less of a season high and more of a season fine. Alabama is safely set in the top 11, but could get passed by Minnesota if Minnesota gets its goal score.  

11. Minnesota Golden Gophers

NQS: 196.885
Previous ranking: 9

Road Score 1: 197.025
Road Score 2: 196.925
Road Score 3: 196.900
Home/Road Score 1: 197.500
Home/Road Score 2: 196.850
Home/Road Score 3: 196.725
NQS: 196.885

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 197.040
Possible ranking range: 10-11

A very solid 196.900 in defeating Michigan and Missouri nonetheless saw Minnesota drop a couple spots because Kentucky and Alabama both got 197s. Minnesota does, however, have a higher peak score than Alabama after this weekend and can re-pass, though it would require a 197.275 at Big 10s to guarantee it, which isn’t an easy goal.

12. Boise State Broncos

NQS: 196.725
Previous ranking: 13

Road Score 1: 197.175
Road Score 2: 196.950
Road Score 3: 196.525
Home/Road Score 1: 197.125
Home/Road Score 2: 196.625
Home/Road Score 3: 196.400
NQS: 196.725

Possible ranking range: 12-16

Boise State dominated the MRGC Championship with a 196.950, moving the team ahead of Auburn for the moment. That has guaranteed Boise State a seeded position at regionals. Now it’s a waiting game to see which seed.

13. Auburn Tigers

NQS: 196.695
Previous ranking: 12

Road Score 1: 196.775
Road Score 2: 196.700
Road Score 3: 196.400
Home/Road Score 1: 197.100
Home/Road Score 2: 196.825
Home/Road Score 3: 196.775
NQS: 196.695

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 196.835
Possible ranking range: 12-16

Auburn does have a chance to improve its NQS by several tenths if it can drop that 196.4 road score at SECs, but because a sizable margin has developed between the top 11 and the teams ranked below, Auburn’s goal will be to stay at 12 (as the #3 seed at regionals instead of #4) and not be caught by anyone else. Because Nebraska actually has the higher peak, Auburn may fall to #13 even with an amazing performance at SECs but is already guaranteed a seeded spot and cannot fall out of the top 16 even if things go terribly.

14. Oregon State Beavers

NQS: 196.575
Previous ranking: 15

Road Score 1: 196.650
Road Score 2: 196.375
Road Score 3: 196.350
Home/Road Score 1: 197.450
Home/Road Score 2: 196.950
Home/Road Score 3: 196.550
NQS: 196.575

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 196.795
Possible ranking range: 12-17

All the teams in this portion of the rankings are facing the serious possibility of being forced out of the seeded positions with a weak showing at the conference championships. Unseeded teams are placed geographically at regionals, which means nothing to Oregon State because Oregon State is a regionals host and knows where its going, but the seeding issue is still significant for OSU because the seeded teams will be favored to advance out of the Friday regionals into the Saturday regional final, while the unseeded teams will have to upset a “better” team on Friday just to make it to Saturday. Oregon State’s magic number at Pac-12s is 196.750, which would guarantee a regionals seeding.

15. BYU Cougars

NQS: 196.570
Previous ranking: 14

Road Score 1: 197.000
Road Score 2: 196.500
Road Score 3: 196.425
Home/Road Score 1: 196.900
Home/Road Score 2: 196.550
Home/Road Score 3: 196.475
NQS: 196.570

Possible ranking range: 15-18

BYU went sub-196 at the MRGC Championship and did not manage to change its NQS, so it will be playing the waiting game to see if it still has one of the 16 seeded spots tomorrow, with Cal, Nebraska, and Washington all capable of passing.

16. California Golden Bears

NQS: 196.540
Previous ranking: 16

Road Score 1: 196.975
Road Score 2: 196.225
Road Score 3: 196.150
Home/Road Score 1: 197.575
Home/Road Score 2: 196.700
Home/Road Score 3: 196.600
NQS: 196.540

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 196.825
Possible ranking range: 12-18

Cal recorded a program-record 197.575 on Sunday, and it came at just the right time as the team needed a pretty solid hit in order to get into the evening session at Pac-12s and retain a spot in the top 16. That score also served to give Cal a very high peak possible NQS if it can be matched at Pac-12s. Now that BYU did not gain any ground, Cal will be looking for a 196.725 at Pac-12s to assure itself a seeded regionals place. 

17. Nebraska Cornhuskers

NQS: 196.520
Previous ranking: 18

Road Score 1: 196.400
Road Score 2: 196.225
Road Score 3: 195.900
Home/Road Score 1: 197.675
Home/Road Score 2: 197.250
Home/Road Score 3: 196.825
NQS: 196.520

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 196.875
Possible ranking range: 12-18

Just like Cal, Nebraska’s huge home score over the weekend has served to give the team a pretty high peak NQS and a seemingly manageable scoring goal of 196.575 at Big 10s to clinch a seeded position. So despite currently being on the outside looking in, hope is not lost. The problem for Nebraska is that the road scores have not remotely been there this season, where the team has been more likely than not to go sub 49 on bars (though getting Orel back in that lineup is a big help).

18. Washington Huskies

NQS: 196.505
Previous ranking: 17

Road Score 1: 196.975
Road Score 2: 196.750
Road Score 3: 196.525
Home/Road Score 1: 196.650
Home/Road Score 2: 196.350
Home/Road Score 3: 196.250
NQS: 196.505

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 196.650
Possible ranking range: 1418

Washington did its job on Friday with a season high, but the flurry of subsequent season highs in the 197s from other teams meant that Washington did not make the evening session and Pac-12s and ultimately lost a spot in the rankings. Washington remains alive in the race for the top 16, but with the lowest peak NQS of the teams still eligible for the spot, UW’s hopes are entirely dependent on the performances of the other schools not reaching their goal numbers noted above.


The next set of teams has already qualified to regionals but also cannot reach the top 16 regardless of their performances at conference championships and will be georgraphically placed at one of the four regional sites.

Those teams are 19) Missouri, 20) Arkansas, 21) Arizona State, 22) Iowa State, 23) Ohio State, 24) Southern Utah, 25) Penn State, 26) Stanford, 27) Maryland, 27) West Virginia, 29) NC State, 30) Arizona, 31) Central Michigan, 32) Illinois, 33) New Hampshire, and 34) Iowa.

The lower-ranked among these teams will still be fighting to get a strong score at the conference championships to try to avoid being placed in a do-or-die dual meet on Thursday at regionals. (Dual Or Die—that’s what that round should be called.)

We don’t know exactly know how the committee is going to handle that since it’s the first year of this system and the regulations in the championships manual are…not as detailed as one might hope and still includes some copy/paste errors from the previous manual?

I very much hope that the committee prioritizes ranking fairness over geography and keeps the top 28 teams safe (because they have earned it) and relegates the 29-36 teams as the 8 schools who have to go to the play-ins. Even if it leads to kind of funky geography like sending Illinois to the Oregon State regional, that’s preferable to punishing a better-ranked team simply because of its geographical location.

The group from Missouri through Penn State is guaranteed to stay in the top 28 and should, in my eyes, avoid the play-ins. A couple more teams can guarantee a top-28 spot with their scores at conference championships (Stanford with 195.675, Maryland with 195.850, West Virginia with 196.100), while the others will be subject to the performances of their peers. We’ll see if that ends up mattering.

But we do know that there are still 2 unassigned regionals spots to play for this weekend, and 4 teams eligible for those spots.

35. Lindenwood Lions

NQS: 195.400
Previous ranking: 47

Road Score 1: 195.900
Road Score 2: 195.375
Road Score 3: 195.350
Home/Road Score 1: 195.650
Home/Road Score 2: 195.350
Home/Road Score 3: 195.275
NQS: 195.400

Neither Lindenwood nor UIC reached their goal numbers at MICs, tying for the title with 195.350. But because Lindenwood had a lower score hanging around to drop, Lindenwood moved just a hair in front of UIC and needs only one of GW and KSU to miss its goal score on Saturday, not both.

36. UIC Flames

NQS: 195.390
Previous ranking: 35

Road Score 1: 196.150
Road Score 2: 195.650
Road Score 3: 195.250
Home/Road Score 1: 195.500
Home/Road Score 2: 195.350
Home/Road Score 3: 195.200
NQS: 195.390

It was jussssstttt a hair short of being enough for UIC. The 195.350 keeps the team alive, but now their fate is entirely dependent on the two teams below not reaching their goal scores.

37. George Washington Colonials

NQS: 195.335
Previous ranking: 36

Road Score 1: 196.025
Road Score 2: 195.350
Road Score 3: 195.250
Home/Road Score 1: 195.400
Home/Road Score 2: 195.350
Home/Road Score 3: 195.325
NQS: 195.335

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 195.490

Following the MIC Championship, George Washington now knows what it needs to advance to regionals: 195.600. Get that score, and GW is in. If Score 195.500 or lower, and GW is eliminated. In between, and it gets funky.

38. Kent State Golden Flashes

NQS: 195.270
Previous ranking: 35

Road Score 1: 195.800
Road Score 2: 195.550
Road Score 3: 194.450
Home/Road Score 1: 195.725
Home/Road Score 2: 195.700
Home/Road Score 3: 194.925
NQS: 195.270

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 195.540

Kent State also now knows what it needs to advance to regionals: 195.125. Score 195.025 or lower, and KSU is out. In between, and qualification starts to be dependent on what GW does, and we start to entertain the possibility of ties.


Here’s how the seeded team distribution would work.

[1] Oklahoma
[8] Georgia
[9] Kentucky
[16] Cal

[2] UCLA
[7] Michigan
[10] Alabama
[15] BYU

[3] LSU
[6] Utah
[11] Minnesota
[13] Auburn**

[4] Florida
{5] Denver
[12] Boise State
[14] Oregon State**

**Auburn and Oregon State are switched to avoid a hosting conflict.


Individual qualification to regionals and nationals is totally different this year, and since it will inevitably get overshadowed by the team developments when the assignments are announced, I’ll try to spend some time with it now.

After conference championships conclude on Saturday and we have the final rankings, a list will be made of the top 12 AAers and the top 16 gymnasts on each event (72 gymnasts in total) who are not part of teams advancing to the Friday regional competition. That means the list will include individuals on teams that have been eliminated and individuals on teams that have been assigned to participate in the play-ins. That is to ensure that if you happen to be an amazing individual on a team that gets eliminated in the Thursday play-in, you still have a chance to compete the next day on Friday as an individual. Individual qualification to nationals is determined by performance during the Friday regionals only.

If we pretend like the top 28 teams are safe from the play-in and the 29-36 teams have to participate in them, then your list of 12 individuals qualifying to regionals as of the current rankings would be:

Alex Zois – George Washington
Danielle Mulligan – New Hampshire
Mary Jane Otto – Illinois
Madison Ward-Sessions – Utah State
Denelle Pedrick – Central Michigan
Kelley Hebert – UC Davis
Taylor Chan – San Jose State
Emili Dobronics – Eastern Michigan
Maddi Leydin – Arizona
Courtney Mitchell – Lindenwood
Rachael Underwood – Western Michigan
Leighton Varnadore – Utah State

They will be distributed geographically to each regional site along with the event gymnasts, though it won’t necessarily be an even distribution to each site because they’ll have to keep gymnasts from the same team together.

At each site, the gymnast with the best AA score recorded on Friday (from a team that doesn’t ultimately advance to nationals), as well as the gymnast with the top score on each event recorded on Friday (once again from a team that doesn’t ultimately advance to nationals) will qualify to nationals as individuals. Tiebreaks will be used. For AAers, the tiebreak goes to the gymnast with the highest single event score. On the events, the tiebreak is adding back in the high and low judges’ scores that were dropped. If that doesn’t work, then the head judges’ score only is used to break the tie. If that doesn’t work, then NQS is the tiebreak.

9 thoughts on “Final NQS Scenarios”

    1. Do you solve complicated algebra problems between bars and beam rotations like Kyla does as well? 🙂

  1. After the top 4 teams, everyone looks vulnerable at regionals. Got to put two together in a row. Will be interesting. Even some #4 seeds look like good dark horses if others give just an inch. Can’t remember the last time a #4 seed upset the applecart – but when you snake 4 regionals instead of 6 – the number 4 seed is higher up the foodchain.

  2. How are the top 8 teams seeded into the two four-team semifinals at nationals? Is it done in the S-curve so it would be:

    Teams 1, 4, 5, 8
    Teams 2, 3, 6, 7

  3. That Georgia regional is looking VERY interesting right now. All 4 teams were at NCAA’s last year so it will be a big upset no matter what the results are.

  4. The Georgia and Michigan regionals seem to have the biggest chance for upset. LSU and Oregon State regionals seem more like the long shots. But, as they say, that’s why they have the competition!

  5. How exciting when all the TWO seeds look like they could be beaten and all the THREE and FOUR seeds look like they cold pull off an upset. Even some of the non-ranked teams could pull off an upset (possible Cal, Nebraska, Washington).

    The top four seeds look safe to move on but they all have problem events that if they come up at regionals could make things interesting (LSU is probably the most vulnerable given they scored in the low 197s most of the season, but they are the ‘host’ at regionals so… )

    Who else is excited that the Big 12 may not just be a coronation for OU this year and if they have to count a low score (not necessarily a fall) then Denver might be able to claim the Big 12 title?

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