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1. Oklahoma Sooners
Previous ranking: 1
What semi-inadvertently became Oklahoma’s “exploring depth road meet” because of Brenna-Bars-Gate 2019—in which Dowell had a scary moment on bars in the warmup and had to be pulled from the meet—still ended up as a perfectly high 197.700. It certainly wasn’t Oklahoma’s ideal performance and didn’t really get going until beam in the final rotation (and even that rotation had a fall), but for a meet without Dowell, without Showers, and with Nichols still limited to two events, being able to go 197.700 is not a bad thing. It did stretch the limits of Oklahoma’s depth right to the edge, though, with just five usable vault scores, only five people going on bars, and some definite backups in the lineup on floor.
2. Florida Gators
Previous ranking: 2
Florida’s 197.850 in a home victory over Auburn proved the big score of the weekend, seeing the Gators gain a little bit of ground on the Sooners in the quest for first place. Save for the first couple positions on vault, which still need to be resolved, I’m looking at the lineups Florida put up in this one and saying, “Yep, that’s the group.” Schoenherr entered the floor lineup with a solid performance that bolstered that six, in addition to following up last week’s vault success with another hit as she looks to be hitting her stride, and of course Trinity Thomas continues to be everything. Vault still lags behind the other pieces in looking sufficiently postseason-y, but we saw continued progress on those landings over the weekend. We’re still being promised some 1.5s that are vaguely side-eye-inducing, but 4-5 10.0s is going to be competitive enough if the landings get there.
3. UCLA Bruins
Previous ranking: 3
UCLA’s performance against Washington on Sunday was speckled with a wholly expected amount of highs and ehs. Ross and Ohashi got 10s on vault and floor respectively (67% of the 10s awarded so far this season have gone to UCLA gymnasts—discuss), but it was almost entirely those couple big-money routines from the stars that got UCLA’s total up to the rarefied 197.6 zone because the rest of the lineups had some issues. Beam was pretty shaky for the majority, and those bars and vault lineups both had some issues in that they were not six-strong with competitive routines, and it’s unclear at this point who would make them six-strong. Well, I shouldn’t say unclear. You want Frazier on vault and Dennis on bars and Anna Glenn on both as needed, but that hasn’t been able to happen.
4. Utah Utes
Previous ranking: 4
Another week, another 197.1 for Utah to stay steady in the 4th position. Utah’s streak of all these low 197s to start a season is both record-breaking and frustrating at the same time—the college gymnastics special. On the one hand, it has never happened before (there’s always been some manner of 196), but on the other hand, these scores are a fall lower than what the top 3 teams are regularly being awarded, even when just kind of OK. Vault reigned as the big highlight for Utah on Saturday. Those landings were excellent and are farther along than most teams at this point in the season (just keep them for April…), but we’re still seeing a lack of non-Skinner 9.9s on bars and floor, with some uncharacteristically short handstands (I think about 5 people in the bars lineup had a deduction on the opening cast hs) keeping bars as the lowest-scoring event over the weekend.
5. LSU Tigers
Previous ranking: 5
LSU was able to hang onto 5th this week despite the performance that shall not be named for 196.025 against Kentucky. Still, the Tigers are falling well behind the top four and are nearing danger of being caught by those in the lower half of the top 10. Last season, LSU didn’t have a score lower than 197.575 as part of its RQS numbers. This year, LSU’s peak score is 197.450. With 7 meets remaining, we’re now in crunch time. The team has to start eradicating these weak performances, otherwise they’ll manifest in a rough postseason seeding. This week, it was a counting fall on bars and three OOBs on floor that eliminated LSU from contention for a usable score, despite what were some impressive fulls on vault and a couple pretty hits on beam.
Continue reading Week 6 Ranking Notes