The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Week 2 Rankings and Reactions

Week 2 Top 25

Note: These rankings include the meets from Monday because, you know, they’re already happened. They will therefore differ from the official week 2 rankings, which do not include Monday meets.

1.Michigan197.850
2.Utah197.438
3.Florida197.338
4.Oklahoma197.025
5.LSU196.950
6.Minnesota196.900
7.Denver196.800
8.Auburn196.650
9.Missouri196.600
10.Kentucky196.525
11.Alabama196.400
12.Cal196.325
12.Arkansas196.325
14.Arizona State196.275
14.Stanford196.275
16.Michigan State196.175
17.Iowa196.008
18.Western Michigan196.000
19.Southern Utah195.775
20.Oregon State195.550
21.Arizona195.500
22.BYU195.488
23.Utah State195.413
24.Ohio State195.388
25.Kent State195.300

Keep That Score

  • #1 Michigan – Michigan kept rolling on Saturday by recording the highest score in the country for the second week in row, a 197.950 in defeating Arizona State. That score ranks tied for #5 on Michigan’s all-time score list, and the “I’m a famous team now” 49.700 on floor is tied for the overall school record. The last time Michigan scored 197.950—all the way back in the black-and-white days of February 2020—it was the program record. Given the uncertainty of meet scheduling this year, notching two NQS-worthy scores in the first two weeks is nice work if you can get it.
  • #2 Utah – Utah will most enjoy the defeating Oklahoma of it all this week—which hadn’t happened since 2015 Super Six—but also the 197.775 that spent a whole 19 hours as the top number in the country is a definite keeper already in week 2. Last season, it took Utah until April to get a score that high, and it only happened twice: regionals and championships.
  • #6 Minnesota – Minnesota should be very pleased by a 196.900 opening score that featured quality mixed with lots of room to improve. While Ramler’s nation-leading 39.700 in the all-around and two 9.950s is obviously the story, perhaps the most important routine for Minnesota came from Halle Remlinger on floor because if she’s actually able to do FX again this season with full difficulty, that would go a long way toward elevating Minnesota’s weak event from last year.
  • #8 Auburn – Auburn picked up a huge away victory this week, defeating Arkansas with a 197.250—Auburn’s #5 score in team history and 2nd-best road score ever, ranking below only a 197.325 at Georgia in 2016. A newly noteworthy characteristic of Auburn’s lineups was a lack of having to put gymnasts up on apparatuses that you’d rather not have to use them on and then hoping. Everyone is able to be limited to their good events.
  • #12 Arkansas – Though Arkansas lost that meet to Auburn, the final 197.200—which nearly broke into Arkansas’s own all-time top 5—is an exceptionally useful score and represented a major recovery from the previous week’s troubles. First-year Leah Smith debuted in the all-around to help the lineups look much more complete and competitive than they did in week 1, even though the injury to Cami Weaver on vault represents a blow to the team’s 10.0 start hopes. 
  • #14 Stanford – Stanford’s back? The first-week 196.275 that Stanford put up in losing to Cal didn’t just represent a cleansing of the “there’s no one here and practice is also the forest” half-season from 2021, but it would have ranked as the 2nd-best score of the whole year in both the 2020 and 2019 seasons as well. It was the most optimism-inducing Stanford meet in ages.
  • #16 Michigan State – MSU followed its encouraging high-195 opening meet with a 196.475, a massive score for a program that has gone into the 197s only once (and that was almost 20 years ago) as Lea Mitchell returned on two events and both L10-standout first years, Stephen and Schulte, produced counting scores on every piece. Overall, 17 of the 24 routines came from first years or sophomores.  
  • #18 Western Michigan – Western Michigan also opened with a very impressive 196.000, which is less than two tenths shy of the team’s all-time record. It’s probably due to WMU changing its logo to something way less ugly. I’m almost sure of it. We’ve seen Western Michigan start quickly before and rank in the top 25 in the early weeks before falling off, so the team will be eager not to drop right into the 193s or 194s this time.

Drop That Score

  • #3 Florida – While Florida will have been pleased to snatch the victory in Sunday’s meet, there were a lot of errors in that performance and the score was still just a 197.000, which is not a counting total for Florida as the team continues to roller coaster around from routine to routine in these early meets.  
  • #4 Oklahoma – Oklahoma suffered its first regular-season loss since 2018 in falling to Utah with 196.650. It was a performance not wholly dissimilar to the struggle meets from the beginning of last season that were promptly forgotten, but this is will be a different kind of season for the typically fast-starting Oklahoma in which the team is going to open with some medium-understaffed lineups and aim to increase the quality as things go. We shall see. 
  • #28 UCLA – The Bruins begin the season ranked outside the top 25 after a first-meet apocalypse that featured a counting fall on bars, basically a counting fall on vault, and all manner of 9.6s and 9.7s for 194.850—UCLA’s lowest total since the memorable everyone-to-the-dungeon-except-Peszek 2015 visit to Utah. There will now be some pressure on Sunday’s meet at Oregon State to show that this was merely a first-competition, COVID-era kind of performance and not…just how this team is. UCLA’s schedule this season doesn’t have a lot of allowance for bad early road scores. 

All That Remains Is Chaos

  • #11 Alabama – On the one hand, Alabama can bask in the righteous self-assuredness that they probably should have been the winners of Sunday’s meet against Florida, but at the same time, the total was still just 196.925. That’s much better than the week before but not the kind of score that a team like Alabama will look to count and not what you want from a juicy road score opportunity like Florida.
  • #20 Oregon State – Oregon State reveled in the start of the Carey era, with her all-the-titles debut performance that led the team to a 195.550—a world away from the 191 that started last year. Yet, bars remained a huge problem for a roster that isn’t really supposed to struggle on bars this year, at least nowhere near like last year.
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