Top 25 Scores

Scores from the top 25 ranked teams for week 4.

Week 4
1. Florida – 197.775
2. Utah – 197.550
3. Georgia – 197.250
4. Oregon State – 196.800
5. Arkansas – 196.700
6. Oklahoma – 196.475
7. Alabama – 196.275
8. Auburn – 196.250
9. West Virginia – 195.775
10. LSU – 195.750
11. Missouri – 195.725
12. Ohio State – 195.625
13. Penn State – 195.475
14. Denver – 195.400
15. Washington – 195.350
16. UCLA – 194.600
17. Nebraska – 194.550
17. Iowa – 194.550
19. Stanford – 194.525
20. Arizona – 194.350
21. Michigan – 194.225
22. NC State – 194.075
23. Illinois – 193.700
24. Boise State – 193.525
25. Maryland – 193.075

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Saturday Scores and Residual Thoughts

Follow here after the jump throughout the day for scoring updates on the Saturday meets.

But first, a few thoughts about yesterday, particularly the performances of Florida and UCLA.  It was a very 2011 day for these two teams, with Florida recording a tremendous score and knocking on the door of 198, and UCLA having a truly spectacular combustion for a devastating 194.600.

The UCLA performance was disappointingly predictable the moment we heard that Val would be putting some of the “depth” into the lineup for this meet.  Now, I use depth in quotes because based on the way these second-string gymnasts performed, they cannot be relied upon to be depth for this team.  This has become the classic UCLA conundrum, but one that we have seen them solve in the past.  If we get a press conference about this meet, I expect Val to give us a variation on the usual, “I’m not upset about the obvious things.  I’m not upset about the falls.  I’m upset because we didn’t warm up well and competed tight.”  This time, there is some truth to the assessment that the falls aren’t as relevant, but it’s because most of the major mistakes came from gymnasts who won’t find themselves in the lineup again for a while.  The much more troubling aspect of UCLA’s performance was the parade of 9.7s from top performers and the inability of the team to get the meet back on track after poor performances – to “hit refresh” as the team is fond of saying all the time.  Which begs the question, if you say something enough, does it lose all meaning?  They certainly didn’t hit refresh yesterday.

However, this meet was nothing new for UCLA because of the traditional commitment to try out different lineups throughout the season.  Val made specific mention that they needed to get Frattone and Baer into the beam lineup this week so they could get competitive routines under their belts.  No one is expecting either to compete against Stanford next week (unless there is injury, and perhaps Mattie was out of the lineup v. Washington more because of the ankle than because of rest, so we’ll watch that).  Let’s contrast that to Florida, where Rhonda Faehn has done a commendable thing in being willing to try new strategies and completely change the training schedule, which certainly seemed to influence the team’s scores in the first few weeks.  They finally arrived yesterday with something much closer to what we’re accustomed to seeing from Florida at home in January.  While most teams would be celebrating such a humongous score, Florida fans have seen it all before.  January 197s don’t win championships.

So here’s the question: have both of these teams fallen into old patterns?  I say this because, while Florida has attempted to address the peaking issue, they have not yet adequately addressed the depth issue.  While UCLA felt the need to get their backup routines into the lineup and eat a bad score in order to move forward with a stronger team, Florida put the same six gymnasts up on the balance beam (last year’s demon) as they have in every meet.  If this continues, how comfortable will Rhonda be making a change in April?  She didn’t feel comfortable taking out Mahlich last year.

I hope that we don’t see these patterns continue next week.  I hope that UCLA can find a way to be a successful team without being horrible for large stretches of the regular season, and I hope that Florida doesn’t completely rely on yesterday’s lineup for the rest of the year just because it was successful this weekend.  Florida needs to be willing to climb down to get up.  They need to go into the crevasse.

Saturday things:


Big scores on vault from Georgia to start the rotation.  Noel Couch goes 9.900, so that’s the kind of meet we’re looking at today.  Nice to see Lainie Fleming hit bars for LSU this week.

Kat Ding leads Georgia to 49.325 on the first rotation, but LSU has to count a poor routine on bars for 48.500.  They need an immediate recovery on their best event, the vault.

Oh Shayla – a fall on bars.  She’s been desperately trying to change the narrative this season.  This won’t help.  Georgia does manage a 49.325 on the back of Ding once again, so they are on solid 197 pace so far, but with floor still to come.  They don’t have Ding to lead them on the next two, and that’s when things get dicey.

Rheagan Courville continues to score well on vault, leading LSU to a 49.300 with her 9.950.  They would be right in this if not for the fall on bars.  In the last few meets, LSU has seemed a bit too much of a one-rotation team, though, so hitting the next two events will be crucial.

Halfway: Georgia 98.650, LSU 97.800


You know things are gong well for Georgia when Kat Ding hits beam.  Strong 9.850s to start for them.  Can Shayla come back after bars and hit beam?

Another hit routine from Davis – she’s been consistent for 9.8s today.  If they can get her scoring a bit higher on bars, she will really have arrived.  If Georgia can conquer floor finally, they’ll have a 197 meet on their hands.

Shayla hits beam for 9.925.  Playing it safe with the beam dismount appears to have solved her consistency problems on this event, though it’s still a bit troubling to me that a former elite of her talent level couldn’t handle (or fix problems with) a double full beam dismount.  A gainer full does not show off her skill set.

LSU has a good enough floor, anchored by Hall’s 9.9.  They go 48.975, counting Courville’s 9.675.

After 3: Georgia 148.000, LSU 146.775


Everyone is hitting in the 9.8s to start the final rotation, which is all Georgia needs.  Even just a 49 would be a victory on this event, but it looks as though they will easily exceed that.  They are hitting all over the place.  Even Nuccio and her rickety body were able to hit for 9.9.  I think they were feeling left out of the 197 party – meaning that only Alabama will be yet to get there from the top teams.  We’ll watch that next week.

Final: Georgia 197.250, LSU 195.750

Not an amazing score for LSU, but not a disaster either.  They’ll be disappointed by the low score on bars, because otherwise it would have been a strong performance.  They hit beam and floor for around 49, so they can work from there.  Jessie Jordan wins the AA with 39.250.

Georgia joins the 197 club, which is not too surprising, but it’s a big deal for them to get 5 solid floor routines.  They can build from this performance in terms of confidence (both in ability to hit routines and in lineup decisions – this is looking close to the right group).  Except, they will still want to get Davis into the AA and Cheek back from injury, which should increase their scoring potential somewhat.  Earls and Davis do appear to be finding their places on this team – a necessary evolution.

The challenge now, as it is for all the top teams, is figuring out how to bring this level of performance (we can’t necessarily expect the scores) on the road.  Next week at Utah will be a big deal for this team.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Nebraska doesn’t mess around with starting their meets.  I like it.  Most teams would barely have started introductions by 15 minutes past the hour.  Last home meet they went 197.375.  Let’s see what today brings.

Good start for Nebraska putting up 49.300 on vault, anchored by Schleppenbach’s 9.900.  Giblin, whose 39.500 still has her as the top AAer in the rankings, is not the AA today.  Missouri is very 9.7 on bars for a 48.775.  Nice to see them in the top 25 this week.  They had a poor season last year after the graduation of Sarah Shire in 2010.

Penn State recorded a poor 48.525 on bars, featuring Musser’s surprisingly low 9.675.  No one reached the 9.8 mark.  They will have to pick up the scoring to stay top 10.  Oregon State, just below them in the rankings, scored 196.800 this week.

Missouri goes unexpectedly huge at the end of their vault lineup for 49.250, just .050 short of what home team Nebraska recorded.  Nebraska, however, does record a solid bar rotation for 49.125, able to drop the 9.675 from Skinner.  No one new in the Nebraska lineup yet, so it looks like they’re sticking with the eight competitive gymnasts from last week.  It still makes me nervous…

After 2: Nebraska 98.425, Missouri 98.025

For Penn State, they recovered a bit on vault (well, Merriam and Musser did), but they still unexpectedly trail Minnesota at the halfway point 97.550 to 97.525.

Uh oh, the beam bug bites again for Nebraska.  They had been doing so well this year…for two meets.  (Although, nice to see Busacker come in.  A 9th gymnast!)  They’ll be counting at least a 9.300 and a 9.475.

Update with final scores, Nebraska had a horrifying beam rotation (46.950…ACK!) and did their best UCLA impression to finish with 194.550 and lose to Missouri’s 195.725.

The other final: Penn State 195.475, Minnesota 195.150

Friday Continued – UCLA @ Washington

UCLA is about to begin at Washington, and we’ll keep an eye on the scores from Utah, Stanford, and Oregon State as the Pac-12 finishes us off on this busy Friday.

For Utah on beam, Lopez leads off well with 9.850.  McAllister follows with 9.725, and Lothrop goes 9.875.  They are going to have to go huge to keep up with Florida, but UCLA’s 197.575 looks within reach for them right now.


Looks like Peszek will be in the lineup on bars, perhaps she is just being rested on the leg events.  Frattone and EHH on bars for UCLA instead of MDLT and Larson.  Wong and Craddock will be on in exhibition.  No Whitcomb this week.  She didn’t look ready yet during her last exhibition, but she’s making progress.

Another big rotation score for Utah, 49.350 on beam.  They may be just short of some of the highest scores, but they can break their season high with a 49.325 on floor.

Pretty clean from Courtney on bars, a wonky handstand and an uncharacteristic step back on the dismount – she should be sticking that. (9.775)

Some pretty low Yfulls from Washington to start, both with hops back.

One of the better bar routines from Peszek, clean in handstand and good dismount.  The shoot to high bar is still not my favorite. (9.850)

Frattone now, her first competitive bar routine of the season, and came off on her jaeger.  This is what I was talking about with the danger of putting up a B-team.  Pressure for the team on bars for the first time this season.  Several form breaks after the fall and a terrible dismount with many steps back.  I hope she enjoyed the only time she’ll be in the lineup this year. (8.725 – sweet heavens)

A couple of solid Yhalfs from Washington, both with significant enough lunges forward.

Aisha Gerber has an error on her pak and has to improvise (with a big leg separation as well) and a major step on the dismount.  Bad news.  (9.475 – counts)

Zam takes an extra swing as well, pikes her body on the pak, and steps forward on the DLO dismount. This is a bad rotation for UCLA. (9.750)

Cline from Washington has to tuck her vault, so they will not want to count that.

Looks like Lichelle is in the lineup now for UCLA instead of EHH.  She has a huge error and has to take an extra swing.  Looks like we’ll have another inexcusable meet.  And it really is.  These are not acceptable mistakes being made here.  I’m seeing 9.325.  Disasterville.

EHH does a pretty solid exhibition with one iffy handstand and a little wonkiness on her double tuck dismount.

Utah, meanwhile is keeping up their high scoring pace so far on floor.  Where will they finish?

I’m having a lot of stream issues with UCLA/Washington.  We may just have to call it an evening.  I’ll probably check in later with final scores.  Enjoy the meets, and enjoy talking about Florida’s 197.775.

One last update with the final score: Washington 195.350, UCLA 194.600.

Val.  Will.  Be.  Furious.  Get ready.  It’ll be great.

Happy Friday – Meets Galore

Lots of scores to watch tonight.  Follow along with all my jibber jabber after the jump.

It seems like all eyes are on Florida tonight, with a huge meet at home against Arkansas.  I have a feeling that this meet will do a lot to shape the narrative about both of these teams for the rest of the season.  If Florida has a poor meet, there will be “a lot to overcome” and “a controversial strategy,” but if they win or score very well, then we will be on “Rhonda’s a genius” watch.  For Arkansas, they are not one of the perennial powers, so people will always be looking for an opportunity to dismiss them and say, “they weren’t really one of the great teams, anyway,” but if they have another great meet, they will force people to expand the conversation about the top teams to include them.

Oklahoma, Alabama, Utah, and UCLA are also in action throughout the evening.  We’ll have a lot to watch.  Expect Utah to score very well at home, and expect UCLA to struggle a little bit without their top lineup out there.  If UCLA can hit in the 196s, they’re fine, but the danger of putting out a B-team is that they could really drop in the rankings and lose confidence with a bad score that counts falls.  They really don’t need to reopen the Westwood Roller Coaster this year (every car is shaped like Miss Val Eyes, “experience the death-defying 400-foot drop…in the rankings!”).
6:00 ET / 3:00 PT – [14] Illinois @ [19] Michigan
7:00 ET / 4:00 PT – [1] Arkansas, [24] Maryland, Bridgeport @ [8] Florida
7:00 ET / 4:00 PT – [11] Ohio State @ Pittsburgh
7:30 ET / 4:30 PT – [23] Iowa @ Iowa State
8:00 ET / 5:00 PT – [20] NC State @ [5] Oklahoma
8:00 ET / 5:00 PT – [6] Alabama @ [16] Auburn
9:00 ET / 6:00 PT – BYU @ [3] Utah
9:00 ET / 6:00 PT – [13] Boise State, Southern Utah @ Utah State
9:00 ET / 6:00 PT – [15] Arizona @ Arizona State
10:00 ET / 7:00 PT – [1] UCLA @ [22] Washington
10:00 ET / 7:00 PT – [12] Stanford @ [10] Oregon State

Poor Michigan.  Poor, depleted Michigan.  They were doing alright (though they could only send up 5 vaulters) through vault and bars with some steady 9.8 scores, but beam destroyed them for 47.675.  After three rotations, Illinois (who had their own problems on vault) leads 146.675 to 145.850.  Strong scores from Joannides, Weinstein, and See on floor.  They’re just missing that depth in the early rotations.


We’re underway in Florida.  No more Shisler in the vault lineup (no surprise).  Ellis with a low 9.725, but Johnson puts up a strong 9.850.  If they can have her consistently in the 3rd position, they’re in great shape.  She can regularly go 9.9.  Arkansas starts with a pair of 9.825s on bars.

Grable goes 9.850 (which is almost a disappointment for her this season), and Dickerson goes 9.825, which is too low for her capabilities, but she always does need time to find her stick.

Kytra goes 9.850 and King goes 9.875 (good to see she’s finally finding her scores – though the vault has been solid since the beginning).  Florida goes 49.175, Arkansas is sitting in 9.8 land on bars.

Michigan has started strong on floor after the first two gymnasts, and Illinois is having a meltdown on beam.  This meet could switch right now.

Big 9.925 from Salmon on bars to jump over Florida on the first rotation with their best worker still to come.  Howdeshell goes “only” 9.875, but it’s a great start away from home for the Razorbacks.

After one rotation, advantage Arkansas.  ARK 49.300, UF 49.175.  We know that Grable and Pisani are going to lead the way on the upcoming events, but let’s keep an eye on how the 3rd and 4th gymnasts are scoring.  That will be a major factor in keeping pace come championships time.  Every top team has great 9.9s at the end, but the championship teams have them in 3rd and 4th spots as well.

Michigan is desperately trying to avoid counting a fall from Colbert on floor (will Nagle have to compete?), but Illinois is giving the meet away on beam with three disasters.  Illinois has to count an 8.650 on beam, and they finish with a somber total of 193.700.  Michigan will win the meet, so it’s a step.  Nagle did compete for the first time for Michigan, but scored 8.200 on floor, so Michigan does end up counting three falls in this meet for a total score of 194.225.  Well…it’s better than last week.  It’s going to be such a battle for this team this year.  Valiant effort, but even making championships is looking more and more unlikely.

I have a question: Ashanee Dickerson scored 9.925 on bars…?  Big start for Florida here.  A fall from Kytra.  Crunch time for Caquatto and Dickerson…King goes 9.925 as well.  I’m going to need to see these routines…If Ashanee gets a 9.925, then shouldn’t Johnson get like a 12?

Ok…Johnson goes 9.925 and Caquatto goes 9.950.  Those scores are more believable, but they give Florida a preposterous 49.625 on bars.  Aren’t home meets fun?  Meanwhile Arkansas is starting a little slowly (especially by comparison) on beam.  Big pressure on Grable to hit after a fall from Kelci Lewis.  Florida will be the big leader at the halfway point.  Grable saves Arkansas for a fine 49.050 on beam — they got through it.

After two rotations – UF 98.800, ARK 98.350.  As expected, except for getting Caquatto back on all her events, it looks like Florida is putting up their ideal/postseason lineup tonight.  Two extremely important rotations coming up – floor has been the weakness so far and beam is beam is beam.


Solid starts from both teams in rotation 3, putting up 9.800-9.850.  Rachel Spicer seems to have carved herself out a spot in Florida’s beam lineup.  For all the talk of experimenting with lineups, especially on beam, Florida has put up the same six competitive routines in every meet so far.  I don’t expect to see experimentation here, but I would like to see it at some point.

Florida taking the advantage on the third routines, Johnson goes 9.925 while Salsberg goes 9.750.  We haven’t seen many beam scores higher than Johnson’s this season.

Lots going on right now: for Alabama, Sledge has started bars off well with a 9.850, and for Oklahoma, Mooring and Spears lead their vault rotation with 9.850s as well.

Oklahoma has started vault with a solid 49.200, Arkansas is getting solid mid-high 9.8s on floor, while Florida is going into the 9.9s on beam.  Watch out for these scores.  UCLA’s season-leading mark might be in danger.

Too many 9.7s for Alabama on bars – Alexin, Clark, and Milliner.  Missing a 6th score for Florida on beam, but Arkansas has put up another strong score of 49.250 on floor.

Ashley Priess saves Alabama on bars with a 9.925, and they earn a lackluster but acceptable 48.975.  The lack of Stack-Eaton today will test the depth.  Without her on bars, they are Sledge, Priess, and Question Mark.

Official score for Marissa King is 9.950, so Florida goes 49.475 on beam.  They need a 49.300 on floor to equal UCLA’s score from last week.

After 3 rotations, UF 148.275, ARK 147.600


Final rotation for Florida and Arkansas, Florida starts with more big scores on floor and Arkansas is hovering around 9.8 on vault.  Arkansas should still put up a great score tonight, but they will not be able to catch this Florida team.

Final score for Arkansas: 196.700.  Great result away.  They are setting themselves up to make quite the run.

Florida has two scores on 9.875 on floor from Stageberg and Johnson to lead the rotation so far.  They are in strong position to break that 197.575 number.

9.950 from Dickerson.  Like I said, these teams (and judges) are just going to keep one-upping each other until we get to insane 198 scores.  Don’t be surprised to see them sooner rather than later.  Two 9.950s from Florida’s floor rotation for a final score of 197.775.  Bets on when the first 198 happens?

Good recovery from Alabama to put up a strong 49.325 on vault, led by Sledge’s 9.925.  Oklahoma is at 98.250 after two rotations.  One 9.9 from them so far, Sara Stone on vault.  Auburn has a strong bar rotation for 49.250, and they are within two tenths of Alabama at halfway.

In contrast to Florida’s colossal score at home, Oklahoma is motoring right along on low 196 pace at home, and that continues on beam with some 9.825s from Stone and Nowak.

Oklahoma finishes with a  49.075 on beam.  Frost just scored a9.625 on floor for Alabama, so pressure on Priess and company to keep the scoring high.  So interesting to me that we’ve seen Kayla Williams on only vault all season so far.

Alabama started so well on floor, but they’ll struggling now – very uncharacteristic.  We expect it on bars, but now it’s a 9.625 from Frost, a 9.725 from Gutierrez, and a 9.650 from Milliner.

Honestly, after getting through bars relatively unscathed, I expected Alabama to roll through the rest of the meet for a highish 196 score.  They just recorded 48.825 on floor and are only .150 ahead of Auburn going into the last rotation, where they are on beam.  Watch this space.

Over in Utah, as expected the Utes are going to try to put a run on Florida’s score.  Kailah Delaney just went 9.950 on vault.  Good for her, her vault can be very pretty.  They went 49.300 on vault, could have been higher, but they got a 9.8 from the anchor Robarts.

Score change for Alabama on beam, Milliner’s 9.825 becomes a 9.750.

Ouchie.  Ashley Sledge goes 8.700 on beam.  Bad news for Bama, but this is the kind of situation that tests possible postseason mettle.  Let’s see how they react.

Final score alert: Oklahoma 196.475, NC State 194.075.  Fine, unremarkable score for Oklahoma.  The story will be Florida this week.

Alabama solid so far after the fall with 9.825 from Gutierrez and 9.800 from Demeo.  They won’t be too happy with the final score regardless, but a hit from Priess should put them in low 196s for another week.  Florida v. Alabama will be fascinating.

Utah went huge on bars for 49.450.  Beers went 9.900, so…

Priess hits big for 9.925 to salvage the meet for Alabama at a 196.275.  Not anything to write home about compared to these other teams.  Valiant effort from Auburn (love that they are keeping these meets competitive within the conference) with a 9.925 from Guy to finish just .025 behind Alabama with a 196.250.  Good score for them.  They should move up from #16.

This post is getting a bit unwieldy, so I’m going to make a new one for the start of UCLA/Washington.

The Weekend Agenda (January 27th-29th)

The last meets of January mean the last few opportunities for allowances.  Teams are still permitted to be lackluster this week, but the window is closing.  Starting next week, teams better have one or more (preferably two) scores that they would be willing to count toward RQS, otherwise they are going to be under pressure to deliver every week from here on out.  Once we get into March, it’s a good idea to start resting some of those top performers so that they will be ready for the postseason, but teams won’t feel comfortable doing that if there is RQS pressure to get into the top six (or top twelve, or whatever the goal may be).  Even though the season seems brand new, we will be more than a third of the way done after this weekend.  January rust has to come off.

Florida has a big meet at home this weekend.  Arkansas is by far the more in-form team, and Florida’s trajectory (and injury situation with Caquatto coming back) won’t have them ready to start putting up huge scores yet.  But at the same time, I expect to see a more accomplished lineup from Florida than we have seen so far to avoid the potential upset (even though it’s not a numerical upset, it would still be an upset if Arkansas won).  This is a major confidence meet for Florida against their first serious competition of the year, and all the big scorers should be in the lineup wherever they are prepared to compete.

As always, I will be following along with all the Friday scores and potentially checking in with some of the live streams we will have.

Top 25 Schedule:
Friday – 1/27/12
6:00 ET / 3:00 PT – [14] Illinois @ [19] Michigan
7:00 ET / 4:00 PT – [1] Arkansas, [24] Maryland @ [8] Florida
7:00 ET / 4:00 PT – [11] Ohio State @ Pittsburgh
7:30 ET / 4:30 PT – [23] Iowa @ Iowa State
8:00 ET / 5:00 PT – [20] NC State @ [5] Oklahoma
8:00 ET / 5:00 PT – [6] Alabama @ [16] Auburn
9:00 ET / 6:00 PT – BYU @ [3] Utah
9:00 ET / 6:00 PT – [13] Boise State, Southern Utah @ Utah State
9:00 ET / 6:00 PT – [15] Arizona @ Arizona State
10:00 ET / 7:00 PT – [1] UCLA @ [22] Washington
10:00 ET / 7:00 PT – [12] Stanford @ [10] Oregon State

Saturday – 1/28/12
4:00 ET / 1:00 PT – [17] LSU @ [7] Georgia
7:00 ET / 4:00 PT – [20] Missouri @ [4] Nebraska
7:00 ET / 4:00 PT – [9] Penn State @ Minnesota
8:00 ET / 5:00 PT – Air Force, Centenary @ [18] Denver

Sunday – 1/29/12
1:00 ET / 10:00 PT – George Washington, Towson @ [25] West Virginia

Improvement Rankings (2012 vs. 2011)

Teams are ranked based on the difference between their average score after three weeks in 2012 and their average score after three weeks in 2011.  Teams appearing in either top 25 (2012 or 2011) are included in the list.

Improvement Rankings – 2012 vs. 2011
1. Arkansas +1.842 (196.775 vs. 194.933)
1. Penn State +1.842 (196.000 vs. 194.158)
3. UCLA +1.656 (196.775 vs. 195.119)
4. Nebraska +1.525 (196.575 vs. 195.050)
5. Arizona +1.281 (194.673 vs. 193.392)
6. Ohio State +1.108 (195.483 vs. 194.375)
7. Maryland +0.800 (194.008 vs. 193.208)
7. Alabama +0.800 (196.325 vs. 195.525)
9. Utah +0.780 (196.713 vs. 195.933)
10. LSU +0.675 (194.617 vs. 193.942)
11. Oklahoma +0.652 (196.433 vs. 195.781)
12. Missouri +0.625 (194.308 vs. 193.683)
13. Denver +0.554 (194.517 vs. 193.963)
14. Auburn +0.550 (194.725 vs. 194.175)
15. Boise State +0.500 (195.288 vs. 194.788)
16. Illinois +0.408 (194.900 vs. 194.492)
17. Oregon State +0.337 (195.675 vs. 195.338)
18. West Virginia +0.225 (194.000 vs. 193.775)
19. Georgia +0.087 (196.275 vs. 196.188)

20. NC State –0.542 (194.308 vs. 194.850)
21. Washington –0.550 (194.108 vs. 194. 658)
21. Florida –0.550 (196.158 vs. 196.708)
23. Iowa –0.617 (194.058 vs. 194.675)
24. Michigan –0.872 (194.325 vs. 195.197)
25. Minnesota –0.942 (193.625 vs. 194.567)
26. Southern Utah –0.983 (193.675 vs. 194.658)
27. Stanford –1.000 (195.413 vs. 196.413)
28. Iowa State –1.220 (193.263 vs. 194.483)
29. Kent State –1.920 (193.088 vs. 195.008)

Monday Rankings

National Rankings – Week of January 23rd
T1. UCLA – 196.775
T1. Arkansas – 196.775
3. Utah – 196.713
4. Nebraska – 196.575
5. Oklahoma – 196.433
6. Alabama – 196.325
7. Georgia – 196.275
8. Florida – 196.158
9. Penn State – 196.000
10. Oregon State – 195.675
11. Ohio State – 195.483
12. Stanford – 195.413
13. Boise State – 195.288
14. Illinois – 194.900
15. Arizona – 194.763
16. Auburn – 194.725
17. LSU – 194.617
18. Denver – 194.517
19. Michigan – 194.325
T20. Missouri – 194.308
T20. NC State – 194.308
22. Washington – 194.108
23. Iowa – 194.058
24. Maryland – 194.008
25. West Virginia – 194.000

Full rankings: Troester

A tie at the top, two different paths there.  Arkansas has done it with steady, impressive performances, while UCLA did it with one humongous score to leapfrog everyone it appeared would be above them.  The most encouraging part of yesterday’s meet for UCLA is that they were not great on the dismounts or even landing some of the tumbling passes with control.  Ostensibly, they could easily perform five tenths better than they did this week, which would put them into potential 198 territory at home or away at Georgia. Which leads us to the overarching question that has come up again and again this January: what do you do with those routines scoring 9.900-9.925 when the gymnasts actually starting hitting to full potential?  If the judging continues on this trajectory, we will have either a March of Tens or controversy over a January 9.925 still scoring 9.925 in March when the routine has improved.  Let’s all keep an eye on that moving forward.

Other thoughts:

  • Stanford has already used up two of their three home meets, and they have not broken 196. There will be a lot of pressure on their road scores because they will need to count more than three to have a respectable RQS.  Ivana Hong came in on vault this week and scored 9.800.
  • If not for the opening meet disaster, LSU would be in 10th.  As usual, vault is the strength, and that rotation is carrying their scores.  Imagine if they had Ranzy as well.
  • Florida has Arkansas at home followed by Alabama away in the next two weeks.  Time to initiate phase two of Operation Rhonda Peak.  If they are still scoring in the low 196s after the Alabama meet, then we start to worry.  Wang and Spicer are not cutting it yet, which will mean more pressure on the big five (Hunter, Dickerson, Caquatto, Johnson, King) to contribute on every event.  I can’t see them putting up those mid-197s until all five are at full potential.
  • Half of Georgia’s scores against Auburn were below 9.800.  Floor continues to be a major weakness.  They can do better, but can we even envision a lineup that could legitimately put up 49.400?  It would require Nuccio, Earls, Davis, and Worley all hitting to potential at the same time.  I’m not holding my breath.  Jay says they have more depth on floor than last year, and while it’s true they have more routines to choose from, do they really have any more depth? A 9.750 is not depth.

 

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama