January 13, 2014

Week 1 Rankings

Top 25 Rankings - (GymInfo)

1. Oklahoma - 197.700
It was a statement meet for the Sooners last weekend, opening up a big lead over the rest of the country. A team receiving a score like 197.700, especially in first meet, is always going to be cause for chatter and skepticism, especially when Haley Scaman goes "Full Zamarripa" and gets a 9.950 for a Yfull with a hop back. Congratulations, Sooners. You've arrived! Don't be surprised if this seems like just a medium score for Oklahoma by the end of the year, though, because they have a very high-scoring schedule including road meets like the Bart and Nadia Challenge, Metroplex, and Florida.  

2. LSU - 197.200
Much like Oklahoma, LSU is eager to be part of the top conversation, and every score in the 197s helps keep them there. Unsurprisingly, the big numbers came from vault and floor, even taking into account an off floor performance from Hall, so they didn't even meet scoring expectations there. Courville and Jordan delivered on beam as expected, but we're still waiting who else will emerge to help that rotation be competitive. Ashleigh Gnat's 9.850 was a very important start.

3. Alabama - 197.150
The loss of Kayla Williams soured an otherwise strong opening to the season. A couple of routines in each rotation were a bit of a struggle, which would have been expected regardless, but I do wonder how the vault lineup is going to fare without her. It will still be competitive because there are more than enough vaulters on this team, but losing a potential 9.950 is always tough to endure. There may be a couple more 9.850s than we are used to there. 
T4. Florida - 196.650
The nice part for the Gators is that they can have a pretty poor meet by their standards and still debut at #4. There were messy routines in that meet and some strange mistakes, like two people botching their vault blocks. Macko had a very rough go on two events, looking far from ready on vault and floor, so I'm interested to see if she does the AA again at Auburn next weekend. Everyone had at least one issue, but Sloan still looked strong on three events and Hunter looked ready on two events and rusty on two events. Expect both to be hitting the AA for 9.9s before too long.

T4. Utah - 196.650
Like Alabama, Utah suffered a warmups Achilles injury with Kassandra Lopez going down, so some shuffling had to take place in the lineups. The beam conversation has been the most challenging for Utah lately, and Lopez looked to be one of the clear starters, so we'll have to keep an even fiercer eye on that lineup in the coming weeks. Dabritz also did not perform beam in the opening meet, and it was the only rotation for Utah not to feature a 9.9 score in a meet that would have gone well over 197 and could have seen the Utes debut at #2 if not for a counting fall on bars.   

T6. UCLA - 196.625
In some ways, UCLA looked better than anticipated, especially in terms of landing control on vault and floor, because of how much new blood there will be in these lineups. But in what is perhaps an unsurprising theme of the week, beam proved an area of concern with a number of ragged performances that had to be saved by the anchor two, and the bars rotation was also informed by a sloppiness that is not reflected in the 49.250 final score. Olivia Courtney was the clear star of the meet, earning 9.9s on her three events. She often starts seasons quite well, so it's little surprise she was the top Bruin on all her apparatuses.  

T6. Nebraska - 196.625
Encouragingly for Nebraska, a number of new competitors came into the rotations in this meet, with Ariel Martin performing on two events and Jordyn Beck and Ashley Lambert each on one, and we could see their contributions increase as the season goes on. Ten competitors received scores for Nebraska in this meet, which may not seem like a lot, but after seasons of seven and eight taking on the whole burden, it's a luxury to have options. In the opposite of a surprise, Wong and DeZiel led the scoring, each recording a 9.950.

8. Michigan - 196.525
The Wolverines are right there in the middle of the pack with a respectable mid-196 opening score, though judging by the quality in preseason, I expected a little bit stronger start. Annette Miele coming out after bars threw off a couple of the rotations, and there were scores like Sampson's bars 9.700 that we wouldn't expect to be a thing going forward. Of course, beam was beam, continuing a bit of the trend from last year where it was not a disaster by any means but also nothing that's going to help the team either, with no individual scores over 9.825.

9. Georgia - 196.325
Georgia endured two meets over the weekend in what is a ridiculously packed 11-day stretch including four meets, and got through it with 196s, so half the marathon is already over. As I expect for most of the year, bars was a highlight, with Lindsay Cheek appearing to emerge as that necessary third big scorer alongside Rogers and Davis with her two 9.900s. Floor has been the event to watch for Georgia because that lineup just seems to be hanging on, and the 48.675 from the Stanford meet including just one 9.8 score raises the red flag. However, we can put a "wait and see" label on that one since it did come as the second meet in a travel weekend. 

10. Arkansas - 196.200
Arkansas has been overlooked this season by some people named me, so breaking 196 in the first week is a delightful sign, especially seeing that bars (an event I had some serious lineup concerns about) ended up as the highest scoring apparatus with a couple 9.875s. Katherine Grable was Katherine Grable of course, but one of the key Arkansas stories this season will be Amanda Wellick because she has the potential to step into that much-needed second AAer position. Her going 39.300 in the AA was perhaps the most important part of that meet for the team.

11. Boise State - 195.850
12. Stanford - 195.575
13. Illinois - 195.325
T14. Denver - 195.200
T14. Oregon State - 195.200
16. Rutgers - 195.075
17. Kentucky - 195.000
18. Auburn - 194.875
T19. Ohio State - 194.750
T19. Arizona - 194.750
21. Kent State - 194.725
22. Central Michigan - 194.625
23. BYU - 194.550
24. Minnesota - 194.425
25. Michigan State - 194.150


  1. Thanks for all of your coverage! It's great!

  2. This sentence cracked me up!

    "they have a very high-scoring schedule including road meets like the Bart and Nadia Challenge, Metroplex, and Florida."

    Seriously though- the scoring at the Oklahoma/Florida meet should be fascinating. We will get to see:
    -if Oklahoma and Florida are more equal on floor/vault this year
    -how Oklahoma and Florida compare on bars and beam. Oklahoma is great on bars and Florida is excellent. If Oklahoma goes first on bars and puts up a good score, the judges may be forced to go in the 49.5+ range when Florida goes second (and your 49.7 score prediction on Florida bars could happen.)

    Same thing for beam. Florida has potential to be the #2 team on beam with Macko and Sloan. If Florida goes first on beam and hits with a good score, how high will the judges go if Oklahoma hits their more difficult routines?