Decade Retrospective: National Championship Finals, Ranked

The 2010s saw a lot of great national championship meets, from two new teams claiming the top spot of the podium to a tie to the end of the Super Six. But we wouldn’t be us if we didn’t try to figure out which was the most exciting of the lot.

Don’t agree with our ranking? Let us know your order of national championships from the past decade in the comments or on social media!

  1. 2016, LSU: So Close but So Far

LSU finished within a few tenths of Oklahoma this year after plenty of wasted opportunities from the other teams on the floor. This wasn’t an exciting final or one where any team particularly lived up to its potential.

  1. 2010, Where did Georgia Go?!

This was a weird one. After winning five back-to-back and not finishing below third in the prior decade, Georgia…missed nationals?! Suzanne Yoculan was gone. Courtney Kupets was gone. It’s all still a blur. Also UCLA won.

  1. 2017, The Time Oklahoma Set the Super Six Team Record 

After an imperious season, the Sooners looked oddly mortal in their semifinal, finishing nearly half a point behind LSU. But they soared in the final, leaving the Tigers far behind and registering the highest Super Six score in NCAA championship history.

  1. 2013: The Precursor to the Tie

Florida and Oklahoma finished just two tenths apart in first and second the year before they tied for the title. Plus, Alabama only trailed Oklahoma by 0.025! 

  1. 2019, The First Final Four: Including Denver, Which Was Outscored by Michigan in the Other Semi

The Final Four format showed some promise, but Oklahoma would have swept this meet with no drama regardless of how many other teams were on the floor. No one looked remotely as sharp as the Sooners for the whole weekend. It was exciting for Denver to make its first national final after a lucky semifinal draw, but the Pioneers looked exhausted at the end of a longer-than-expected season.

  1. 2011, When Michigan and Nebraska Both Made the Final

Michigan and Nebraska are two always-the-bridesmaid-never-the-bride stories, having made a whopping number of nationals between them yet never winning a title. It has been rare in recent years to see them in the same nationals, though.

  1. 2012, Alabama’s Most Recent Title, and That Time Arkansas Made Super Six

The Crimson Tide won two back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012, and this one came after finishing the regular season ranked fourth. Talk about hitting when it counts! This was also the Razorbacks’ only Super Six appearance of the decade.

  1. 2015, The Year Utah Finished Second and Auburn and Stanford Were Also in the Final

We’ll always remember this as the year that THE FRESHMAN LOST HER MIND in semifinals and LSU missed the final, and that UCLA failed to qualify as well without a single fall. But the final we got instead was a ton of fun, and Utah’s remarkable senior class deserved every accolade it earned. Georgia Dabritz earning a 10.0 on bars in Super Six was unforgettable.

  1. 2014, Florida and Oklahoma TIE for the Title

Honestly, how bonkers can you get? Bridget Sloan’s unreal meet led the way for Florida, especially after her fall on beam in qualifying. When Oklahoma snuck in with a meet-tying total, no one in the arena knew if the tie would be broken. Plus, remember how about a third of the floor routines that day went 9.95?

  1. 2018, UCLA Wins Thanks to Peng-Peng Lee’s Two Perfect 10s

It’s always special when an all-time great in any sport gets to finish their career on top. There was no sense of inevitability in this final, with many fans not really believing until the very last routine that UCLA was capable of pulling off the upset.

Article by Elizabeth Grimsley, Emily Minehart and Rebecca Scally

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