February 16 Power Rankings

RQS starts next week, but for now, we’ve still got averages determining the rankings. Some teams still have pesky low scores holding them back while others have a plethora of gifts from home boosting them up. So we took matters into our own hands. This week Casey breaks down his top 15 teams based on which boy bands from the 1990s they best resemble. Which teams are in the heart of the N’Sync/Backstreet Boys battle and which are the New Kids on the Block?

As always, Let us know who you have in your top 15 and what 90s boy bands you think they take after in the comments or on Twitter. And if you’re a traditionalist, you can check out the official rankings on Road to Nationals.
1. Oklahoma
Backstreet Boys
2. Florida
You’re either on team BSB or team N’Sync. There is no in between. They both had so many hits, they both were the cream of the crop. It’s same for OU and UF.  They are both the clear front runners and have been going back and forth all season. Everyone has their favorite, but in reality they are pretty equal.
Like BSB Florida is “Larger than Life”. They have huge routines and stars that make them stand out.  Even their scores are large, with the top team total of the season so far.  They also have scored the highest event total on floor and vault.  Florida is right on the heels of OU, but needs to get more of these ultra high scores to eclipse out some of it iffy early meets.
Oklahoma is singing “I Want You Back” this season.  They are coming for that title, and they don’t want to share.  They currently have the top event averages on vault, bars, and beam. This has put them in the top spot, but they are definitely not safe. They need to keep improving if they want to hold this top rank into postseason.

Boyz II Men
3. Michigan, 4. Alabama, 5. Utah

Boyz II Men was never the biggest group, but they consistently put out great songs.  These teams are the workhorses of NCAA just like B2M.  They hit solid numbers every week and rarely have to count a low score.  Michigan has finally been putting up some bigger numbers and with a few more meets near mid 197 they could break into that top tier.  Alabama has taken two tough losses recently, to Florida and Auburn, but they still scored well.  In NCAA gymnastics, season average is worth a million times more than win-loss record, so the last two meets won’t hurt them.  Utah has been fighting through the loss of Kari Lee, and is even performing better than before her injury.  They are bringing a fire that hasn’t been there yet this season, and with some more of these great meets, they will stay up in the top 5.

6. LSU, 7. UCLA

“Summer Girls” was THE JAM.  It is probably one of my favorite songs of the 90’s boy band era.  I was so excited for their album… then realized half the songs were *poop emoji*.  LSU and UCLA can put out some of the best meets in the NCAA, even better than OU and UF.  Unfortunately, they can put together some less than stellar meets that drop them down the rankings.  If these teams can put a “Summer Girls” meet come postseason they could take it all… But if they have too many flops, they might not even make nationals.  UCLA has had a bit of an SEC scoring situation in Pauley, so it is back to

number one on floor.  It does have a killer lineup though, so I’m not mad.  They need to get their other three events to be more consistent if they want to make sure they are in that top 6 come post season.  LSU can get the 9.9+ scores it needs on every event, but they can’t afford for those athletes to fall.  Getting Savona into the lineups for post season will help push them up to the top 6, but until then they need everyone to be consistent.  #CONSISTENCY

8. Auburn, 9. Boise State

O’Town was formed on a reality TV show, but this didn’t guarantee their success.  Between the TV show and their first album O’Town lost one of their 5 members and had to replace him. These two teams have replaced key athletes to find success this season.  Auburn had a great season last year, but without Walker their potential seemed limited.  They also lost two girls to injury mid season, which is hard for any team to bounce back from.  However, they have taken these losses and turned them into success.  Their win at Bama was a huge confidence booster and momentum builder.  I expect them to ride that wave like O’Town turned their MTV fame into record sales.  Boise State came into this season needing to fill holes from Kelsey Morris and Ciera Perkins who contributed giant scores for the Broncos.  However, they have not just filled the holes but have improved them across the board. This is the Boise State I have been waiting for.  They’ve had the talent for a while but this year it is all coming together.  Now I just need Mejia to get back into form on bars.

10. Georgia, 11. Arkansas, 12. Stanford, 13. Nebraska

98 Degrees was a great band, but sometimes they got lost behind the big names of N’Sync and BSB.  The same goes for these four teams.  They are always strong contenders, and have been putting out solid meets, but aren’t getting that big hit they need to push into the top spots.  Georgia has finally hit beam, and they hit it BIG TIME.  Once RQS comes in and they can drop their beamplosions they will go up in the rankings.  Arkansas has been chugging away with solid meet after meet.  They need to dig deep and find some 9.9s in the lineup if they want to stay in the top 15 or move up.  I’m waiting for Wellick to start getting

some — she has been low balled all year.  Stanford has had a more consistent year, but like Arkansas, needs to find some 9.9s  in their lineups. Nikki McNair should be going 9.9 every meet, but her lead-off position is holding her in the 9.85 9.875 range. Nebraska needs to get Lambert back into the lineups asap. Her contributions are too great to fill with Nebraska’s limited depth.

New Kids on the Block
14. Denver, 15. Cal

Going literal here… But Denver and Cal are making a name for themselves this season.  Nina McGee and Toni-Ann Williams have led these teams into the forefront with their stellar all-around performances.  They are the type of athletes that a program needs to jump into the postseason lineup. Both teams have bolstered their lineups with some legitimate depth and they are looking at multiple 9.80-9.9 options on every event.  Both teams have hit mid 196 scores that would take out a top 10 team in a close regionals.  I would not be surprised to see one or both of these teams make their way to Ft. Worth this year.

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