1. Oklahoma Sooners
Previous ranking: 1
Oklahoma more or less cruised to victory on Saturday, winning by a point over a tough Metroplex field. We did, however, see a few more minor and medium mistakes creep in than we had seen in recent meets (and a couple backup routines in the lineups) as Oklahoma’s previously massive lead shrunk to just a couple tenths over Florida.
2. Florida Gators
Previous ranking: 2
Florida achieved a critical, convincing win against top conference rival LSU over the weekend with the 3rd-highest team total in program history. Some bonkers scoring notwithstanding, this was an excellent performance and the closest thing we’ve seen so far this season to an April-quality meet.
3. UCLA Bruins
Previous ranking: 3
UCLA will compete tonight (Monday) against Stanford. Stay tuned.
4. Utah Utes
Previous ranking: 5
Utah jumped one ranking spot by going 197.050 in a resounding victory over Arizona State, a solid performance though also one with enough small mistakes and counting 9.775s that the final score was not as high as Utah might have hoped. We’re starting to get to the point in the season where national title contenders are looking for at least 197.3s and 197.4s.
5. Denver Pioneers
Previous ranking: 4
Like most of the teams at Metroplex, Denver’s performance was characterized by a few more errors than usual—a wobbly beam, a couple OOBs on floor—which accounts for losing a ranking spot and a 196.575 score, the team’s low so far in 2020. Denver will, however, still be pleased about being able to have a slightly off day and still tie Alabama and beat Georgia.
6. LSU Tigers
Previous ranking: 8
While the result—losing to Florida—will be dissatisfying, LSU will definitely take the 197.775, a season-high score and a very countable road total that showed some clear improvements on several events, just not enough to sit atop the conference pile. Floor ended up the major difference-maker, LSU’s performance marked by a potential injury to Sarah Edwards that would set back a vault lineup that has worked hard to restock.
7. Alabama Crimson Tide
Previous ranking: 5
Alabama’s 196.575 at Metroplex is an acceptable, medium score, though it didn’t quite live up to the heights of an initial bars rotation that featured a couple “best one you’ve ever done” routines. A few too many misses and 9.7s on the other events prevented Alabama from getting back to the 197 zone for a second week.
8. Minnesota Gophers
Previous ranking: 7
Despite a second-straight 10 from Ramler on beam, Minnesota dropped a spot this week as the team continued suffering from a case of that-one-rough-rotation-itis. This time, it was counting a fall on floor that gave Minnesota a 196.300 instead of the 197 it seemed was coming.
8. Michigan Wolverines
Previous ranking: 9
Michigan moved up into a tie for the conference lead with a 197.300 against Rutgers, the team’s best total of the young season and most assured performance so far. This is still kind of an under-ranking because of that low first-week score, and you’d expect Michigan to move up toward the 4-5 zone in the coming weeks given the performances we’re seeing now.
10. Cal Bears
Previous ranking: 10
Cal stays at #10 this week after going into the 197s for a second-straight meet, albeit this time in a road loss to Washington. A couple late-rotation mehs meant the team couldn’t fully take advantage of ANCHOR SPOT WHEEEEE or reach the level of last week, but Cal won’t say no to an imperfect meet for a road 197 in January.
11. Washington Huskies
Previous ranking: 24
Speaking of WHEEEEE, Washington is in 11th now thanks to a 197.225, the team’s highest score in a couple years. I guess we can’t talk about harsh scoring in the Pacific northwest anymore, but what we did see was Washington’s most competitive vault and floor lineups in several seasons. Washington used to be a pure UB/BB team, but that’s changing this season.
12. Kentucky Wildcats
Previous ranking: 12
Kentucky is still yet to truly break out this year, but Friday’s season high 196.750 in a road victory over Arkansas proved a step in the correct direction—especially on bars where the team erased the weirdness from last week with its best showing so far, helped by Luksik making her debut to lift the lineup’s scoring potential.
13. Georgia Bulldogs
Previous ranking: 18
It’s a mixed bag right now for Georgia. We’re seeing the team show improvements over those early weeks and put together “at least I think you can probably all hit” performances on each event (and the entirety of the vault and floor difficulty is not there yet). But Georgia will also be concerned about placing last at Metroplex without showing any more uncharacteristic mistakes than any of the other teams. Georgia may just be the #4 team among that group.
14. Arkansas Razorbacks
Previous ranking: 19
Arkansas has been able to maintain that fledgling spark of high-196-ish-ness for three consecutive meets now and emerge with higher scoring potential than this roster appeared to have on paper in preseason. Although, losing to Kentucky at home will still sting as it helps place Arkansas in the lower half of the SEC, a position the team is trying to get out of.
15. BYU Cougars
Previous ranking: 15
As 197s started to become more of a given for the challenger/contending teams this weekend, BYU kept up its place in the rankings with a 197.075 of its own in a road victory over Southern Utah, bypassing the 196s completely and going straight from 195 to 197. Evans added back floor this week to give the team its highest score of the lineup.
16. Iowa State Cyclones
Previous ranking: 13
Iowa State had the weekend off following its 196.625 against Georgia last Monday and will resume on Friday with a meet at Oklahoma.
17. Nebraska Cornhuskers
Previous ranking: 16
It tells you what you need to know about scoring right now that Nebraska went season-high 197.100 this week and lost ground in the rankings. The team’s lower average is a result of some troubling previous scores, but this week’s showing was the team’s best of the season on three events, most notably vault with two stuck Y1.5s that didn’t even include Houchin.
18. Auburn Tigers
Previous ranking: 14
Auburn dropped four spots after going a season-high 196.700 in a victory over Missouri, which is kind of weird. Although despite the season high, the team will feel that it left tenths on the floor on every event with just two 9.9s in what was not a tightly evaluated meet. There was a lot of fine-for-9.850 happening. Which is…fine.
19. Maryland Terrapins
Previous ranking: 11
Life caught up to Maryland a bit this weekend with a counting beam fall that broke the team’s two-meet 196 streak. Instead, it meant 195.250 in a loss to Ohio State that accounted for an 8-spot drop in the rankings. Maryland will still, however, feel like a 196 would have been possible at this meet as well with a hit beam.
20. Missouri Tigers
Previous ranking: 20
While Missouri finally got into the 196s this week for a strong 196.650 road score that helped the season average tremendously, the team will also be kicking itself because the opportunity was there for a truly gigantic, “one of our best ever” totals. If not for a counting 9.300 on floor, this could have been easily into the 197s, so Missouri is still searching for that complete meet.
21. Arizona Wildcats
Previous ranking: 22
Arizona gained a spot in the rankings this week after going 196 for the first time, although it was in a loss to Oregon State where some wobblies on beam made the difference. It took until March for Arizona to go 196 last season, so a 196.150 in January is…better.
22. Illinois Illini
Previous ranking: 17
A 195.225 in losing to Minnesota saw Illinois bleed a few more ranking spots this week, still having to eat enough 9.6s and 9.7s—particularly on vault and floor—to make a 196 a difficult prospect. It requires the entirely of the bars and beam lineups (beam being the team’s clear best event) to be excellent to make up for those lower scores elsewhere.
23. Southern Utah Thunderbirds
Previous ranking: 26
SUU’s 196.600 in a home loss to BYU proved more than a point better than any of the team’s previous scores this year and launched Southern Utah up into the top 25, predominately thanks to a bars rotation where Murakami went 9.950 even out of the second spot.
24. West Virginia Mountaineers
Previous ranking: 27
West Virginia got into the 196s in its home opener Sunday thanks to a final-rotation floor performance in which nothing lower than 9.875 counted. JO standout Kianna Yancey also competed the AA for the first time this season.
25. Oregon State Beavers
Previous ranking: 28
Oregon State started to make progress back to the level we expect of this team with a 196.400 in a road victory over Arizona. It’s still not a WOW result by any means, but it was both the most comfortable and least-tightly-scored affair for OSU so far this year for a team that really should be getting 196s every week and should be at least top 16.