The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Week 2 Rankings and Notes

Week 2+ Top 25

*The rankings are updated with the Monday results so will differ from the official week 2 rankings.

1.Florida197.788
2.Oklahoma197.763
2.Michigan197.763
4.UCLA197.563
5.Utah197.513
6.Cal 197.500
7.Auburn197.275
8.Denver197.063
9.LSU196.933
10.Kentucky196.850
11.Alabama196.750
12.Missouri196.700
13.Ohio State196.513
14.Michigan State196.475
15.Iowa196.400
16.Minnesota196.200
17.Georgia196.167
18.Oregon State196.150
19.Stanford196.138
20.Arizona State196.075
21.Southern Utah196.025
22.Washington196.013
23.Illinois196.000
24.NC State195.950
25.Arkansas195.875

Keep That Score

  • #2 Michigan (198.125) – Michigan jumped up to #2 this week with the first 198 in the country so far, the fourth-highest score in team history, and the first home 198 in team history (and just the second time any team has ever scored 198 at the University of Michigan). Beam was the thing, with that event alone improving half a point over week one and officially downgrading the beam threat level from Terrifying to Somewhat Concerning.   
  • #4 UCLA (197.850) – On Saturday, UCLA recorded its highest road score of the post-Val era with a 197.850 to win the Wasatch Classic and move up to #4, the highest ranking the Bruins have reached since the abrupt end to the 2020 season when they were #3 as the season got called off. The team is starting to look, dare one say, competitive again. 
  • #6 Cal (197.525) – This 197.525 is the highest regular-season road score in the history of Cal gymnastics, improving by a smidge over last weekend’s result thanks largely to a near program record on vault. That vault lineup with four 10.0 starts allows Cal to have a kind-of-shaky beam day while still setting records and keeping pace with the kind of 197.5s the top teams are scoring. 
  • #8 Denver (197.200) – On the topic of vault records, Denver set one this week at 49.550 and did so even without the services of their best vaulter, Lynnzee Brown. Being able to drop a 9.850 on vault is a far cry from the seasons when Denver would have to put up five and hope they all hit. This 197.200 is a very usable road score that would have been an NQS-counting score for Denver in each of the last three seasons, a vital number to get out there so early to take the pressure off some of the later road meets.
  • #22 Washington (196.550) – Washington improved by more than a point in week 2, notching a 196.550 that would have been the team’s #2 road score for NQS in 2022—a season of great improvement for Washington in which the team still did not get into the mid 196s until the second half of February. This is a much earlier start for the usable scores. 

Drop That Score

  • #2 Oklahoma (197.600) – Oklahoma sneaked out of LSU with a win on Monday but did so with a somewhat raggedy performance and a—gasp—197.600 that was only the 5th best score recorded this week. Oklahoma’s NQS hasn’t been down in the 197.6 zone in a decade, so this is definitely going to be a drop score despite also being a 197.6 in a win.
  • #11 Alabama (196.525) – Alabama dropped out of the top 10 this week with a 196.525 characterized by…weirdies, like Luisa Blanco frontally ejecting herself onto the beam in the anchor position and Makarri Doggette tripping the floor fantastic in the middle of her leap series. Top 15 teams don’t count 196.5s, and Alabama will want to get rid of this one as soon as possible.
  • #25 Arkansas (195.525) – Arkansas defeated Alabama on three events this week but was nonetheless saddled with a loss and an unusable 195 when the team’s old nemesis, hitting bars, reared it’s head again with three falls over six routines. Arkansas currently sits in the basement of the SEC and will need to use the opportunity of a visit to Auburn next weekend to get the kind of road score that can bump the team back up.

There Should Be a Medium Place

  • #1 Florida (197.825), #5 Utah (197.750) – There’s nothing much to sneeze at about Florida and Utah’s scores this week, standing as solid progress points for the second week. So while both teams will still probably aim to drop these scores in the quest to be all-198s, all-the-time once we get to the meat of the season, they also could very well count these results and it would be completely fine. Florida, though, will probably look at how many 10s and impossible scores were thrown out at this meet and know that this could have been a total closer to the historic category with a top-level vault showing.

All That Remains Is Chaos

  • #9 LSU (196.575/197.450) – Are you up or are you down? LSU started the weekend in the doldrums with a Friday 196 that featured a season-ending injury to Kiya Johnson, then came back with a much more usable mid 197 on Monday against Oklahoma. Monday’s performance indicated that the team can still be competitive even without one of the two main stars, though some definite question marks remain in terms of the best option for filling out these lineups without introducing a 9.7.
  • #14 Michigan State (196.400) – It wasn’t long ago that a 196 road score in the second week would have been cause for trophies for Michigan State. But this week, a counting fall on bars in the opening rotation quashed the team’s quest for what otherwise would have been a score well into the 197s that challenged for a top-10 ranking. Still, a 196.4 seeming like a miss emphasizes how far Michigan State has come in such a short period. 
  • #18 Oregon State (196.850) – This 196.850 is a massive improvement over the week 1 score and is borderline-viable as a counting road score for NQS, but it also featured a fall-laden 48.7 on bars that spoiled what could have been a big old 197 as the Beavs now rank outside the top 40 on bars. 
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