Week 5 Top 25
Since almost every team in the top 20 recorded a keeper score this week—at least, what we think is a keeper score until it turns out that a 198 is actually bad, happy 2023 to all—I’ll switch gears this week to look at certain ranking benchmarks from last season and how likely teams are to reach those plateaus this year.
Last season, it look an NQS in the 197.9s to rank in the top 4 (seeded to make the championship), in the 197.4s to rank in the top 8 (seeded to make nationals), in the 196.9s to rank in the top 16 (seeded to make the regional final), and in the 196.2s to rank in the top 36 (advancing to regionals).
Checking out how many scores teams currently have over those marks can give us a very rough look at how much progress they have already made toward each ranking level and how likely they look to stick around in that tier (or move into it), keeping in mind that scores are trending a couple tenths higher this year so you’ll want to be on the safer side of each level just to be sure.
|Top 4 Score|
|Top 8 Score|
|Top 16 Score|
|Top 36 Score|
|San Jose State||X|
Right now, we see only the current top 4 with any scores at that 197.9 level, reinforcing the gap they have created between themselves and everyone else and the likelihood that they stay in those positions. It’s still early enough that another team would be able to start getting a batch of 197.9+ scores now and challenge them, but…you’ve got to get a move on.
The number of teams that have already made fairly significant progress toward the top-8 mark also indicates a pretty good chance that it’s going to take better than a 197.4 NQS to finish in the top 8 this year.
Here, we see Cal with two more top-8 level scores than both Auburn and UCLA, which loosely points toward a better chance to move up once scores can start to be dropped. Auburn and UCLA would need several more 197.4+ scores before NQS kicks in (or fewer particularly high scores to balance out lower ones) to guard against that, and will need to be more efficient in terms of getting mid-197s from a majority of their remaining meets, while Cal has a little more leeway to throw in a low one.
Similarly, Oregon State has more top-16 level scores than several of the teams hanging out above them, a threat to move up the rankings faster once they can drop their first-meet 195.450, and North Carolina probably sits in a better position for regionals than the teams nestled around them in the rankings with three scores over 196.2 already in the first five meets. And with those two 197.4s at the last two home meets, you’d rather be Arkansas than most of the other teams in the teens.
One more meet, and we’ll actually be able to see how these teams compare to each other in NQS. Two more meets, and we’ll be able to see how they compare to each other when they can start dropping their worst clunkers.