The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Week 5 Rankings and Reactions

Week 5 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 5 rankings, which do not include Monday meets.

1.Michigan198.035
2.Oklahoma197.640
3.Utah197.540
4.Florida197.535
5.LSU197.258
6.Minnesota197.225
7.Auburn197.185
8.Alabama197.090
9.Missouri196.994
10.Kentucky196.925
11.Cal196.819
12.Denver196.790
13.Oregon State196.625
14.Arkansas196.544
15.Michigan State196.470
16.UCLA196.300
17.Iowa196.242
18.BYU196.175
19.Stanford196.063
20.Arizona State196.050
21.Utah State196.010
22.Ohio State195.985
23.Western Michigan195.800
24.Boise State195.688
25.Southern Utah195.650
26.North Carolina195.545
27.Illinois195.500
28.Towson195.338
29.Kent State195.331
30. Georgia195.300
31. West Virginia195.269
32.Penn State195.255
33.San Jose State195.238
34. Washington195.200
35.Nebraska195.145
36.NC State195.131

What Is a Good Score?

Michigan’s basically unprecedented 198.525 over the weekend—the highest team score since 2004 and the highest road score ever recorded in college gymnastics—has reignited my question of what actually constitutes a competitive score in the 2022 season. When Utah is scoring 197.7 with a counting fall and Oklahoma is scoring 198 even with vault rotation that tied for their worst score on that event in nine years, it’s clear the typical expectations need not apply. 

But what are we actually dealing with here? How good is a 197 this year? Is that helpful? What are teams trying for?

This season, for the first time ever, it’s expected to take an NQS over 196 just to finish in the top 36 and qualify to regionals. Scores are on pace to obliterate last season’s cutoff of 195.769, and the NC State team currently sitting on the bubble has an average of 195.131, a score that would have seen them rank 8 spots higher at this point in each of the last three seasons. Based on how things have changed in the last 10 years between now and the end of the season for teams in this area of the rankings, that would put this season’s projected regionals cutoff somewhere in the vicinity of 196.300.

Similarly, the current scores would indicate an NQS of roughly 197.150 required to finish in the top 16 (seeded at regionals), and an NQS of 197.900 to finish in the top 8 (seeded to advance to nationals). Right now, I’m leaning toward the lower end of the range with these because we have one fewer week in the regular season this year compared to most years and because of COVID meet cancellations mucking up the plans (and because 197.900????????), but we shall see.

With those benchmarks in mind, I’m giving teams an X for every score they currently have that reaches each level. As long as NQS is done the normal way this season, you’re going to want to end up six weeks from now with at least four countable scores at the desired level to feel safe and dandy. Next week, many teams should have enough scores to start doing real NQS projections.

Top 8 Score
197.900
Top 16 Score
197.150
Top 36 Score
196.300
MichiganXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
OklahomaXXXXXXXXXXXX
UtahXXXXXXXXX
FloridaXXXXXXXXX
LSUXXXXX
MinnesotaXXXXX
AuburnXXXXXXXX
AlabamaXXXXXX
MissouriXXXXX
KentuckyXXXXX
CalXXXXX
DenverXXXXX
Oregon StateXXXX
ArkansasXXXX
Michigan StateXXXX
UCLAXXXX
IowaXX
BYUXXX
Stanford
Arizona StateX
Utah StateXXX
Ohio StateXX
Western Michigan
Boise StateX
Southern UtahXX
North CarolinaX
IllinoisX
TowsonX
Kent State
Georgia
West Virginia
Penn StateX
San Jose StateX
Washington
NebraskaX
NC State
Arizona
Iowa State
George Washington
Ball State
Northern IllinoisX
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