1. Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma continued setting the standard in week 2, improving on its week 1 performance with a new season-leading 197.675 away at ASU, achieved with some backups still in the lineups because of Olivia Trautman’s broken heel.
2. Florida Gators
Florida didn’t necessarily allay any of last season’s vault fears with its first-meet performance, but bars and beam continued looking exceptional and Trinity Thomas got 9.975 on floor for almost falling on a leap, so…win-win?
3. Denver Pioneers
Denver stayed on track with a second consecutive meet of clean, elegant, fall-free gymnastics with legitimate 9.9s completing every lineup. Early 9.7s continue to be a feature of the vault and floor lineups, keeping the team out of the 197s as yet, so watch that space.
4. Utah Utes
Utah leapfrogged UCLA in the rankings after a 197 flat at UTAH UTAH UTAH, the special Utah meet. Kim Tessen’s senior emergence continued, garnering two of the three 9.9s Utah recorded in the competition. We still haven’t seen Tessen on beam, and I thought beam was her best event at RRP. Just saying.
5. UCLA Bruins
For having not yet hit a meet, UCLA is scoring quite well, telling us that once the team figures out how a beam goes, the 197s are going to fly, especially at home since the Bruins just went 196.800 with the equivalent of two counting falls. But no question, there are some lineup holes to be dealt with right now.
6. Minnesota Gophers
Minnesota lost to Denver on Sunday but looked pretty good doing it, showing a lovely beam rotation and the addition of a Y1.5 from Maddie Quarles that should help vault emerge as more of a strength this season with three competitive 10.0 starts.
7. LSU Tigers
LSU’s stays at #7 this week following its victory over Georgia—and a 196.725 final score that papered over some problems from rough floor landings to the Shchennikova 0.000 on bars. It’s going to be a turbulent journey this January. Original 2021 commit Maddie Rau did show up to give the vault lineup a new Y1.5.
8. Maryland Terrapins
Well hello, stranger. Maryland showed up in the top ten after a massive 196.150 at the Boston meet…that no one got to see so there’s not really much to say about realism. Important to note that the team’s best score came on vault, rather than its traditional strength (bars), which is encouraging for prospective four-event competitiveness.
9. Alabama Crimson Tide
You take that 196-with-a-counting-fall and you run, even if it’s a loss to Auburn. At least after last year‘s opening 194, this counts as good. Obviously not an ideal performance, but key for Alabama this year is Blanco and Doggette turning into stars, and we saw the nebulae in this first competition.
10. Nebraska Cornhuskers
Nebraska’s two-meet Utah swing went fairly well and saw the team break 196 in its second outing. Operation All The Y1.5s is still live, although some injuries, recoveries, and slow starts mean that Operation Is Bars Gonna Be OK is also still live.
11. Kentucky Wildcats
Home meets aren’t always safe for Kentucky, but the team returned from its Utah sojourn to post a solid mid-196 in its home debut, continuing to do the work to prove completeness of lineups. While not yet looking like every loss from last season has been replaced, this team is not lacking for routines.
12. Iowa State Cyclones
The United Nations of Iowa, which added Laura Cooke (UK) and Jade Vella-Wright (AUS) to the executive committee this month, will certainly be able to live with a 12th-place ranking after its first meet, even if floor didn’t go ideally—though did feature Andrea Maldonado’s college debut.
13. Illinois Illini
Illinois dropped a little in average this week after some rough times on vault and beam, though it’s hard to talk about rough times on beam when Mia Takekawa received a 10.000. Two falls and three scores of 9.9+ in the same beam rotation is such a trendy result. Illinois is basically at the cool kids table.
14. Central Michigan
An initial ranking of 14th definitely counts as a solid start for CMU, though more encouraging that the number will be the performance of Hannah Demers, who despite a fall on beam, is looking like a realistic and necessary partner to Denelle Pedrick in carrying these lineups.
15. BYU Cougars
BYU opened up with two reasonable 195s, and while a semi-disaster on beam soured the score at UTAH UTAH UTAH a little, it did feature Shannon Evans, who did not compete in the first meet and whose absence would have been a massive bummer for BYU this year.
16. Michigan Wolverines
It’s definitely not where you would expect to see Michigan ranked, but a patented beamtastrophe in the first meet undermined what was otherwise going to be a competitive 196. Sierra Brooks did fall on bars as well, but overall the debuts for Brooks and Gabby Wilson proved exactly as encouraging as hoped.
17. Georgia Bulldogs
Well, it was an improvement over the first meet…? Georgia did get itself up into the 196s in its home opener, with performances on vault, beam, and floor that you’re not mad about. But bars. Having only one routine hit 9.800 and counting a fall have done little end heart disease.
18. Cal Bears
Cal suffered a rankings plummet this week after a disastrous 47.850 from a depleted floor group to open the NorCal meet. Counting an 8.800 on FX meant the team wasn’t able to take advantage of a Milan Clausi vault 9.950 or another big performance from Kyana George.
19. Missouri Tigers
Missouri wasn’t able to get out of the mid-195s in its second performance, a competition in which the absence of Aspen Tucker exposed just a few too many 9.6s and 9.7s in these lineups to keep on 196 pace.
20. Auburn Tigers
Auburn will be thoroughly pleased by its comeback performance in the second weekend, defeating Alabama and getting Drew Watson and Cassie Stevens in on all the events. The team’s ranking is nonetheless straggling because the first-meet score was so low. When does NQS start again?
21. Arizona Wildcats
Arizona nearly got to 196 in its home opener following a reasonable showing on the road at LSU the weekend before. AZ will hope this portends lovely things because these two meets rank as Arizona’s best start to a season in more than 15 years.
22. Boise State Broncos
There were some highlights in Boise State’s first meet performance. Bars was lovely and beam has received the injection of new quality to keep up the level from last year. But—floor did not look close to being ready, and the injury to Courtney McGregor would be devastating.
23. Washington Huskies
Washington won’t love its opening performance, especially because a 9.6-a-thon on beam (what typically should be one of the team’s better events) took away a golden chance to upset a fall-counting Michigan team. Evanni Roberson did stick a fantastic Yfull for 9.875 in the highlight of the competition for UW.
24. West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia was a little too 9.7y to beat Penn State but did show the sprouts of an encouraging future generation with the performances from Pierson and the Yanceys, routines that will be counted on to lead this team in about 30 seconds.
25. Stanford Cardinal
Stanford did manage to hang onto a spot in the top 25 this week but will be a bit annoyed at not being able to defeat a Cal team that was counting such a low floor score and opened the door wide open. A 9.5-a-thon from Stanford made that impossible.