The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Week 9 Rankings & NQS Update

Scores in BOLD can no longer be dropped.


1. Oklahoma

Road Score 1198.175
Road Score 2198.075
Road Score 3197.900
Home/Road Score 1198.475
Home/Road Score 2198.200
Home/Road Score 3198.050
Current NQS:198.080

Oklahoma took over the #1 national ranking on Friday after scoring a 198.475, which ranks only 11th in all of NCAA history (trying?). By following that with another road 198 on Sunday, Oklahoma extended its lead and will now set eyes on breaking the all-time NQS record of 198.120, which a team called Oklahoma set in 2018. A score of 198.125 this week would do it. 

Oklahoma is in some danger of losing its #1 ranking to Florida this week depending on how things go so will also aim to score 198.375 (which is, I guess, a score we treat as realistic now) to clinch the #1 ranking for next Monday even if Florida goes 199.


2. Florida

Road Score 1198.575
Road Score 2197.775
Road Score 3197.575
Home/Road Score 1198.250
Home/Road Score 2198.150
Home/Road Score 3198.100
Current NQS:197.970

Florida moved up to #2 this week after its record-breaking 198.575 tie with Auburn, the highest two-team score ever, the 4th-highest team score in college gymnastics ever, and yada yada yada it’s fine. I’m fine. Because Florida still has a 197.5 to drop, the possibility of moving up looks somewhat semi-realistic, if not completely under Florida’s control. Florida would need at least a 198.150 this week to have a chance at taking over #1, and then it would be down to how well Oklahoma does. 


3. Michigan

Road Score 1198.525
Road Score 2198.025
Road Score 3197.950
Home/Road Score 1197.950
Home/Road Score 2197.925
Home/Road Score 3197.900
Current NQS:197.950

Following a score of 197.900 in losing to Oklahoma, Michigan lost the top spot in the rankings and dropped to #3. So FYI, 197.900 is bad now. Michigan cannot catch Oklahoma this week but could end up flip-flipping with Florida depending on how the week goes since the two are quite close right now. Florida has the smoother route to improving its NQS because of that 197.575 to drop compared to Michigan’s 197.900 to drop, so that’s mostly up to Florida.

A 198.225 for Michigan would ensure staying ahead of Utah even if Utah does another 198.575.


4. Utah

Road Score 1197.950
Road Score 2197.750
Road Score 3197.275
Home/Road Score 1198.575
Home/Road Score 2198.000
Home/Road Score 3197.775
Current NQS: 197.750

One of those cool things happened this week where Utah scored 198.575 and is now in a weaker ranking situation than last week, more vulnerable to being passed by Auburn. The potential to get rid of that lowly 197.275 does allow Utah a glimmer of a chance to challenge Michigan and Florida this week, but it’s going to take quite a score since there’s a fair deficit right now. Anything less than 198.275, and Utah can’t move up.

Because Utah has a one-tenth lead on Auburn right now and both have very similar NQS situations (a peak of 198.575, a 197.2 to drop this week), Utah will be aiming—at worst—to stay within five tenths of Auburn’s score this week to retain the #4 ranking.


5. Auburn

Road Score 1197.750
Road Score 2197.750
Road Score 3197.250
Home/Road Score 1198.575
Home/Road Score 2197.925
Home/Road Score 3197.575
Current NQS:197.650

A 198.575 (good?) on Friday, followed by a 197.750 on Sunday, allowed Auburn to leapfrog LSU and move into 5th place in a tie with Alabama. Because Alabama is idle this weekend, any improvement on that 197.250 road score would allow Auburn to move out of this tie and ahead of Alabama, while a 197.700 would ensure that LSU cannot pass and that Auburn retains at least the #5 ranking regardless of what any other team does. 

FYI, there’s no need to do a tiebreak right now because rankings are nothing until they matter, but if we did need it, the tiebreak is the highest score that isn’t counting for NQS, which for Auburn is 197.525 and Alabama is 197.500, so Auburn would win the tiebreak.


5. Alabama

Road Score 1198.000
Road Score 2197.600
Road Score 3197.125
Home/Road Score 1198.075
Home/Road Score 2197.875
Home/Road Score 3197.650
Current NQS: 197.650

Alabama’s double-198 weekend, which were just the fifth and sixth 198s in all of Alabama history (and that remains surprising to me because…Alabama) moved the team up from 7th into a tie with Auburn for 5th. Now, Alabama does not compete this coming weekend, so we know that Alabama will stay at 197.650 in next Monday’s rankings and that Alabama’s maximum final NQS for the season is 197.840.

This makes Alabama vulnerable to being dropped back to 7th in the rankings next week, but we’ll see if the move to rest while everyone else pushes for another score will pay off in championship season.


7. LSU

Road Score 1197.825
Road Score 2197.625
Road Score 3197.200
Home/Road Score 1198.050
Home/Road Score 2197.975
Home/Road Score 3197.450
Current NQS:197.615

LSU’s meet against Kentucky ended in semi-controversy this week as a beam cap malfunction allowed Kentucky a redo at the end of the rotation, and the hit redo gave Kentucky the win. Also there weren’t any 10s. Did the memo not make it to Louisiana? 

Moving ahead of idle Alabama will be the main goal for LSU this week in its home finale, requiring a 197.650. Catching Auburn is a possibility but will be mostly dependent on Auburn’s performance since LSU’s peak NQS after this week is 197.735, while Auburn’s is much higher at 197.915.  


8. Minnesota

Road Score 1197.850
Road Score 2197.125
Road Score 3196.500
Home/Road Score 1198.025
Home/Road Score 2197.650
Home/Road Score 3197.575
Current NQS: 197.340

A 197.850 away score in losing to Utah allowed Minnesota to move back into the top 8 this week. Right now, the top 7 teams look safely in the top 7, so everyone else is vying for the #8 spot and the lone remaining #2 seed at regionals. Minnesota doesn’t have a lot of room to improve NQS this week since that road 196 can’t go until the conference championship but definitely has the inside track for that #8 spot overall. The only way Minnesota isn’t #8 in next Monday’s rankings is if Cal racks up back-to-back huge scores on Friday and Sunday. 


9. Kentucky

Road Score 1197.500
Road Score 2197.150
Road Score 3196.700
Home/Road Score 1197.450
Home/Road Score 2197.450
Home/Road Score 3197.350
Current NQS:197.220

Kentucky’s 197.500 victory at LSU was a road season high and allowed the team to move ahead of Cal and into 9th place. While 9th place is not a top-2 seeding, the 8 and 9 teams go to the same regional and the same semifinal within that regional, so it’s essentially the same thing. Looking at the current setup and the strength of those 1-2 seeds in most regionals, the 8-9 spots will be absolutely coveted by everyone else. Kentucky is, however, vulnerable this week in its home finale since those home scores are all very close to the high score that’s dropped. Even with a season high, Kentucky would still only go up to 197.250. 


10. Cal

Road Score 1197.200
Road Score 2196.925
Road Score 3196.850
Home/Road Score 1197.575
Home/Road Score 2197.525
Home/Road Score 3197.350
Current NQS: 197.170

Cal dropped from 8th to 10th this week after a 197.200 at UCLA—nonetheless a road high for the season—and will be looking to use next weekend’s two-meet affair to reestablish a spot in that 8-9 zone. At Friday’s away meet, Cal will aim for 197.275, which will ensure moving ahead of Kentucky for 9th regardless of what Kentucky scores. Depending on how the first meet goes, Cal may also have a shot at Minnesota at Sunday’s home meet, but we won’t know until after Friday.


11. Missouri

Road Score 1197.225
Road Score 2196.875
Road Score 3196.850
Home/Road Score 1197.650
Home/Road Score 2197.350
Home/Road Score 3196.775
Current NQS:197.015

Missouri is the first team in the hierarchy that is guaranteed to count a 196 (everyone in the top 10 has only 198s and 197s in bold), which is starting to put a bit of a cap on how high Missouri can go. With a season high this week, Missouri would be at an NQS of 197.190, which is probably not going to move any higher than 11th.

The main goal will be to retain this ranking spot, which requires a 197.050. Missouri is still somewhat vulnerable to being dropped out of the top 12 since all the teams ranked 12-15 have a chance to pass, but Missouri has control of the situation, and that low 197 looks attainable at this point in the year.


12. Oregon State

Road Score 1197.150
Road Score 2196.675
Road Score 3196.575
Home/Road Score 1197.375
Home/Road Score 2197.275
Home/Road Score 3197.225
Current NQS:196.980

Oregon State finally has an NQS and jumped into a tie for 12th place this week with a mid-196 that’s nonetheless still not quite the kind of score the team wants to count. But because Oregon State has nothing in the 196s that is yet in bold, moving up still looks attainable. Anything 196.775+ this week gives the Beavs a shot at Missouri, though that’s mostly going to be up to Missouri’s score. Now, what about the Yanish injury situation…


12. Michigan State

Road Score 1196.975
Road Score 2196.850
Road Score 3196.775
Home/Road Score 1197.575
Home/Road Score 2197.425
Home/Road Score 3196.875
Current NQS:196.980

Michigan State kept its ranking up with another huge home score, going 197.575 to stay in the top 12. What MSU doesn’t have yet is an away 197, which every other team in the top 16 has, so that should be the goal in Kentucky on Friday. Right now, Michigan State and Oregon State are both tied and both have exactly the same peak NQS after this week should they both score season highs, so both look about as capable as the other of breaking the tie and moving into sole possession of 12th.


14. Denver

Road Score 1197.600
Road Score 2197.075
Road Score 3196.625
Home/Road Score 1197.000
Home/Road Score 2196.850
Home/Road Score 3196.600
Current NQS:196.830

Denver has somehow managed to withstand the fact that every single gymnast on the entire team has suffered a season-ending injury (Glynn the latest to join the list) and still got a 197 on Sunday. The goal score for Sunday’s home quad will be 196.800 as that will ensure that Denver stays in the top 16 next Monday regardless of what home 198s anyone else might do.


15. Arizona State

Road Score 1197.375
Road Score 2196.600
Road Score 3196.550
Home/Road Score 1197.800
Home/Road Score 2197.075
Home/Road Score 3196.275
Current NQS:196.775

Arizona State has a higher peak NQS than Denver does this coming weekend so will semi-relish its chances to gain a spot. While it would take a 197.550 to guarantee, any kind of 197 probably gives ASU a good look. But the major consideration this week will be fending off UCLA and clinching an evening spot at the Pac-12 Championship, which would take a 196.750 for Arizona State to seal.


16. Ohio State

Road Score 1197.525
Road Score 2196.900
Road Score 3196.675
Home/Road Score 1197.075
Home/Road Score 2196.575
Home/Road Score 3196.450
Current NQS: 196.735

Ohio State managed a critical huge road score over the weekend, which moved the team into the top 16, the essential cutoff for being seeded at regionals. The next goal will be a 197.125 in Friday’s home finale, which would serve to retain this spot in the top 16 for another week. That tri-meet with Cal and Pitt will be one to watch because all three are in position limbo somewhere with very clear score goals.  


17. UCLA

Road Score 1196.850
Road Score 2196.300
Road Score 3195.475
Home/Road Score 1198.050
Home/Road Score 2197.650
Home/Road Score 3197.125
Current NQS:196.680

UCLA’s ranking did not change this week despite a 198 because…road scores. That also means that UCLA doesn’t have too much control at this weekend’s home finale with a peak NQS of 196.865 even if they score another 198—lower than the peaks of all the teams currently ranked in the top 16. UCLA’s quest for a seeded position (which all the top teams also want, no one wants UCLA lurking unseeded in their regional semifinal) will be based almost entirely on getting a big road score at Pac-12s, likely from the afternoon session unless Arizona State puts up a bad one this week.    


18. Arkansas

Road Score 1196.800
Road Score 2196.800
Road Score 3196.475
Home/Road Score 1197.200
Home/Road Score 2197.050
Home/Road Score 3196.100
Current NQS:196.645

Arkansas finally figured out bars at Sunday’s meet, but because the other scores didn’t exactly cooperate, the total remained stuck in the 196s. After this week, Arkansas will have a peak NQS of 196.865, which is exactly the same peak number as UCLA (this UCLA South thing is really getting out of hand) as both teams will try to scramble over each other to see if there’s a spot in the top 16 for one of them. Or both. 


19. BYU

Road Score 1196.575
Road Score 2196.575
Road Score 3196.450
Home/Road Score 1197.225
Home/Road Score 2196.775
Home/Road Score 3196.700
Current NQS:196.615

BYU dropped from 14th to 19th this week because of a (gasp) 196.450. With a peak NQS of 196.720, BYU cannot get back into the top 16 this week but will still be looking for a big home number that could set up a last-minute push at the conference championships. But it’s starting to look like a tough path. 


20. Iowa

Road Score 1196.825
Road Score 2196.475
Road Score 3196.425
Home/Road Score 1196.825
Home/Road Score 2196.375
Home/Road Score 3196.225
Current NQS:196.465

Iowa got back to the 196.8s this week, which is not a huge number given the national situation but is just what Iowa needed to remove the threat of getting pushed down to the play-in meets, which are allegedly for the teams ranked 29-36 unless we have any last-year shenanigans. This should be enough buffer now.


21. Boise State

Road Score 1197.000
Road Score 2196.550
Road Score 3196.525
Home/Road Score 1196.950
Home/Road Score 2196.225
Home/Road Score 3195.975
Current NQS:196.445

 


22. Utah State

Road Score 1196.800
Road Score 2196.450
Road Score 3196.350
Home/Road Score 1196.725
Home/Road Score 2196.425
Home/Road Score 3196.225
Current NQS: 196.435

23. Stanford

Road Score 1196.325
Road Score 2196.275
Road Score 3196.000
Home/Road Score 1196.975
Home/Road Score 2196.900
Home/Road Score 3196.575
Current NQS:196.415

Like Alabama, Stanford is idle this weekend, so we know that Stanford will have a maximum final NQS of 196.610.


24. Georgia

Road Score 1196.975
Road Score 2196.800
Road Score 3196.200
Home/Road Score 1196.600
Home/Road Score 2196.300
Home/Road Score 3196.125
Current NQS: 196.405

Georgia didn’t exactly put up huge totals at its 2 meets over the weekend but has now *probably* done enough to ensure escaping the play-in meets with this NQS.

I‘d say everyone below Georgia should still be at least vaguely concerned about getting pushed down to the Wednesday Sadness.


25. Illinois

Road Score 1196.450
Road Score 2196.375
Road Score 3196.350
Home/Road Score 1197.125
Home/Road Score 2196.650
Home/Road Score 3195.725
Current NQS:196.310

26. NC State

Road Score 1196.925
Road Score 2196.725
Road Score 3196.025
Home/Road Score 1196.600
Home/Road Score 2196.350
Home/Road Score 3195.700
Current NQS:196.280

27. Iowa State

Road Score 1196.325
Road Score 2196.275
Road Score 3195.775
Home/Road Score 1196.875
Home/Road Score 2196.500
Home/Road Score 3196.225
Current NQS:196.220

28. Maryland

Road Score 1196.550
Road Score 2195.950
Road Score 3195.725
Home/Road Score 1197.100
Home/Road Score 2196.700
Home/Road Score 3196.125
Current NQS:196.210

29. Towson

Road Score 1196.100
Road Score 2196.000
Road Score 3195.975
Home/Road Score 1196.700
Home/Road Score 2196.525
Home/Road Score 3196.225
Current NQS:196.165

29. San Jose State

Road Score 1196.550
Road Score 2196.325
Road Score 3196.025
Home/Road Score 1196.625
Home/Road Score 2195.975
Home/Road Score 3195.950
Current NQS:196.165

 


31. Washington

Road Score 1196.825
Road Score 2195.800
Road Score 3195.100
Home/Road Score 1197.275
Home/Road Score 2196.825
Home/Road Score 3196.250
Current NQS:195.160

Washington added a critical road meet last weekend and paired it with a big home score to move into a much safer position. Not SAFE, but safer. Pac-12s in two weeks will present an additional chance to move up with a hit and the removal of that road score, so Washington has among the better chances to move out of the 29-36 zone.


32. Southern Utah

Road Score 1197.000
Road Score 2195.550
Road Score 3195.000
Home/Road Score 1196.975
Home/Road Score 2196.675
Home/Road Score 3196.550
Current NQS:196.150

I guess it was the wrong week to have a bad one as Southern Utah dropped 11 spots in the rankings. Like Washington, SUU still has a good setup to make a ranking push at the conference championship, which should concern whoever ends up in 27-28 after this weekend if it’s not Washington and Southern Utah because they will be vulnerable. Southern Utah is not safe for the top 36 right now, but is definitely among the likelier teams to make it.


33. West Virginia

Road Score 1196.575
Road Score 2196.250
Road Score 3195.925
Home/Road Score 1196.250
Home/Road Score 2196.100
Home/Road Score 3195.900
Current NQS:196.085

West Virginia is now over the 196 in NQS but definitely among the teams still in trouble for making the top 36 and advancing to the elimination meets. Not a done deal. WVU’s goal score this week will be 196.300, which would at least make sure that they are in the top 36 heading into the conference championship. 


34. North Carolina

Road Score 1196.625
Road Score 2196.475
Road Score 3195.325
Home/Road Score 1196.475
Home/Road Score 2196.000
Home/Road Score 3195.700
Current NQS:195.995

North Carolina moved from 38th into the good spots this week with an exceptionally important road 196.475, and now the team heads to Georgia for the Durante’s Revenge Rumble knowing that there’s still a low road score in tow that can be dropped off there. It will take a 196.175 to clinch a spot in the top 36 for next week, but North Carolina will have slightly higher aims than that and would start to look pretty safe with another mid-196.


35. Arizona

Road Score 1196.050
Road Score 2196.025
Road Score 3195.500
Home/Road Score 1196.850
Home/Road Score 2196.400
Home/Road Score 3195.925
Current NQS:195.980

Arizona’s asset is a two-meet weekend this week, providing one more opportunity than everyone else has to get to a safe regionals position. That means a single meet this week doesn’t have to be a season high (I mean it would help) to stay in the top 36 because a home 196.4 followed by a road 196.0 would accomplish the same thing. Saturday’s road meet at BYU and the opportunity to get rid of that 195.500 will be the key.


36. Western Michigan

Road Score 1196.725
Road Score 2196.100
Road Score 3195.750
Home/Road Score 1196.225
Home/Road Score 2196.000
Home/Road Score 3195.400
Current NQS:195.895

Western Michigan currently occupies the final spot but because Central Michigan is lurking there in 40th place with a higher peak NQS than WMU has, Western Michigan is not currently in control of its own regionals fate and will have the basic approach of “season high and hope at least one team effs up.”

This is the case for every team ranked 36-39 right now—WMU, Pitt, Nebraska, and Penn State. They’re definitely still alive, but it’s as much about rooting for West Virginia, North Carolina, Arizona, and Central Michigan not to get those 196s they need as it is about good scores for themselves.


37. Pittsburgh

Road Score 1196.450
Road Score 2195.600
Road Score 3195.575
Home/Road Score 1196.775
Home/Road Score 2195.875
Home/Road Score 3195.800
Current NQS:195.860

38. Nebraska

Road Score 1196.750
Road Score 2195.625
Road Score 3195.525
Home/Road Score 1196.350
Home/Road Score 2196.225
Home/Road Score 3195.500
Current NQS:195.845

39. Penn State

Road Score 1196.425
Road Score 2196.125
Road Score 3195.875
Home/Road Score 1196.400
Home/Road Score 2195.475
Home/Road Score 3195.325
Current NQS:195.840

40. Central Michigan

Road Score 1196.275
Road Score 2196.125
Road Score 3195.550
Home/Road Score 1196.650
Home/Road Score 2196.475
Home/Road Score 3194.650
Current NQS:195.815

Central Michigan is the one frightening all the other teams because of that 194.650 that still can be dropped at either of the two remaining meets. Central Michigan has the ability to get into the top 36 in one fell swoop and will be looking for 196.400 this week to do it. CMU’s last two home scores were 196.475 and 196.650.


41. Kent State

Road Score 1196.375
Road Score 2196.200
Road Score 3195.600
Home/Road Score 1196.550
Home/Road Score 2195.550
Home/Road Score 3195.300
Current NQS:195.805

42. UC Davis

Road Score 1196.225
Road Score 2196.000
Road Score 3195.625
Home/Road Score 1196.325
Home/Road Score 2195.675
Home/Road Score 3195.075
Current NQS:195.720

For teams Davis and below, regionals qualification is moving into the territory of….very challenging. It’s not mathematically impossible because there are still multiple meets left, but they’d have to break the bank at both.


%d bloggers like this: