1. Oklahoma Sooners
Previous ranking: 1
Oklahoma doubled down on the 198s this weekend, going 198.250 on Friday away and going 198.175 at home on Monday (which will be reflected in the week 4 rankings). Olivia Trautman returned on bars, and Maggie Nichols got the fourth 39.9+ AA score of her career. So, I mean, it’s OK I guess.
2. Florida Gators
Previous ranking: 2
Florida couldn’t quite match its opening meet score with the team’s first road performance, mostly because of an uncharacteristically medium bars rotation, but a strong second-half performance that featured Rachel Gowey tying her career-high on floor helped Florida remain the only other team with an average in the 197s.
3. UCLA Bruins
Previous ranking: 5
UCLA’s first complete hit (buoyed by the two-event return of Madison Kocian) helped the team gain two spots in the rankings this week with a 197.425, the second-highest peak score in the country. The eternal soap opera of these potential 10.0 starts on vault remains a weak spot with UCLA’s lowest rotation score coming there.
4. Denver Pioneers
Previous ranking: 3
Denver hit a season high 197.250 at Arkansas, though did drop a spot in the rankings because UCLA’s score was even higher. The no-falls streak continued, and some of those routines even got some friendly scoring crack, so you know Denver has truly arrived.
5. Utah Utes
Previous ranking: 4
Utah was idle this week and dropped a spot in the rankings by not being able to participate in the bacchanalia that is NCAA scoring.
5. Alabama Crimson Tide
Previous ranking: 9
Alabama zoomed up the rankings into a tie with Utah after that preposterous coin heaven of a meet against Oklahoma for 197.400. It was still, however, a high-quality performance for Alabama that warranted a good score, the kind of complete meet it took this team until March of last season to put together.
7. Minnesota Gophers
Previous ranking: 6
A limp opening-rotation bars performance seemed to spell doom for Minnesota this week, but that was followed by a program-record 49.700 beam score featuring the first-ever 10 for Lexy Ramler. So in the end, the meet turned into a high 196. Peak NCAA gymnastics. Minnesota has also become the #1 beam team in the nation.
8. LSU Tigers
Previous ranking: 7
LSU is still stuck in the mud after three meets as it seems every time one problem is resolved (a hit bars rotation for 49.275 this week) another one reappears. This week, it was a counting fall on beam featuring the unexpected miss from Reagan Campbell, her first fall in nearly two years.
9. Michigan Wolverines
Previous ranking: 16
Michigan recovered from its counting fall last week for a much more complete performance in week 3 (and for a gain of 7 ranking spots)— a comfortably hit, non-scary meet and largely crack-free score a 196.700. Sierra Brooks even outscored Natalie Wojcik in the AA.
10. Cal Bears
Previous ranking: 18
Cal got home, took a warm bath, and washed off last week’s disaster by going 197.325 for the 5th-highest score in program history. It was a far looser scoring lens than Cal has experienced in its other meets, but that bars performance also showed that this lineup is legitimately a top-3 bars rotation in the country and deserves to score like it.
11. Maryland Terrapins
Previous ranking: 8
Maryland mimicked its first week score with another 196 to stay in a very strong ranking position in week 3. Bars has long been this team’s best event, so little surprise that it continues to be, but the clear improvement in the floor lineup has given Maryland another competitive piece.
12. Kentucky Wildcats
Previous ranking: 11
Weird mistakes on bars (Tim Garrison’s look of sheer bafflement after Cally Nixon’s routine summed up that rotation) took away the chance for a big home 196 and a ranking rise for Kentucky, but a 196.375 is still a non-tragic result that keeps the team in striking distance of the top 10.
13. Iowa State Cyclones
Previous ranking: 12
Iowa State’s big Monday result against Georgia for 196.625 is not factored into the average (though it would not change the rankings because there’s quite a gap up to Kentucky). But, that was a statement performance showing that the nationally competitive back half of ISU’s lineups are capable of putting the team in position for its best season since the KJ years.
14. Auburn Tigers
Previous ranking: 20
Auburn’s ranking position is going to be a little anemic for a while because that first-meet performance is still so influential in the average, though the team did hit 196 again on Friday and would have been close to 197 if not for a very rough time on vault.
15. BYU Cougars
Previous ranking: 15
Amidst a lot of ranking movement in these early weeks, BYU held steady in the rankings after a high 195 in a loss against UCLA. It’s not the kind of 196 we sometimes see at home from BYU, but the team showed the competitive difficulty and execution needed to keep up this ranking all season. Top 16 is a realistic goal. But with just 3 home meets left, they’re going to need to take advantage of all of the rest of them.
16. Nebraska Cornhuskers
Previous ranking: 10
Nebraska’s “the beam has obviously been compromised” meet against Penn State gave the team an unusable 195.100 and saw a 6-place drop in the rankings. There are highlights on this team—and floor looks much improved over last season—but we haven’t seen a complete meet yet.
17. Illinois Illini
Previous ranking: 13
Illinois did perfectly fine against Michigan but got 9.7-ed into oblivion to end up with another 195. The story of the next few weeks will be whether this team can turn these fine meets into 196s to fulfill the promise of the beginning of the season, or whether it will continue to drop spots and be one of those twentysomething teams.
18. Georgia Bulldogs
Previous ranking: 17
Georgia’s massive 197.325 won’t be factored into the rankings until next week (it would put the team in 9th if it counted this week) but even though it was too loosely evaluated, it was also indicative of a much more competitive, postseason-legitimate team than we saw the first two weeks. Being competitive at next week’s Metroplex will be the real…challenge. Get it? It’s called the Metroplex Challenge. I comedy.
19. Arkansas Razorbacks
Previous ranking: 32
Arkansas said “ha ha kiddingsssss” about that first meet performance with two strong 196s over the weekend (would be 15th now if the Monday meet counted). Hailey Garner made a bars appearance and Sarah Shaffer returned on more events, which gives the team a much fuller and more competitive look than we saw in that first meet.
20. Missouri Tigers
Previous ranking: 19
Missouri is among the teams still spinning its wheels after three meets, not able to get out of that 195 zone. Aspen Tucker did return on two events and Helen Hu did Helen Hu on bars and beam, but falls leading to counting 9.6s undermined the chance to get that juicy home 196.
21. Boise State Broncos
Previous ranking: 22
Boise State gained a spot by not competing (ah, so that’s the secret!) but will have its no-McGregor lineups put to the test tonight in Washington.
22. Arizona Wildcats
Previous ranking: 21
Another week, another statement result for Arizona. This time, the team defeated a conference rival in Oregon State and did so despite counting a non-ideal floor number. The results have been there, though the scores haven’t yet been huge. Like Illinois, Arizona will have to start getting 196s to keep this ranking up as some of the sluggish starters pull it together.
23. Central Michigan
Previous ranking: 14
Counting a fall on bars tripped up CMU in its second outing of the season, though the team will be encouraged that it could still get into the 195s, on the road, while counting a very low number on bars. That bodes well for future results in the higher 195s and for a team with a limited home schedule (3 total home meets) this year.
24. Washington Huskies
Previous ranking: 23
Washington hasn’t competed in its second meet yet but will face Boise State this evening. Stay tuned.
25. Stanford Cardinal
Previous ranking: 25
Stanford managed to cling to a spot in the top 25 even though bars was being a real 2018 about things in the loss to Cal. The floor performance was successful and the team did pretty well absorbing the absence of Rachael Flam all things considered. This is a very injured team that isn’t showing it as much as past years. That scary beam moment for Kyla Bryant was another concern, but she seemed to be OK.