The Mount: Week 8

As always, you’ll find everything you need to follow along with all the meets happening this weekend, including previews of the top matchups, Fantasy Gymnastics resources and every scoring and video link you could ever need.

Can’t-Miss Matchups

No. 8 Alabama at No. 2 Florida

When You Need to Tell Your Friends You’re Busy: Friday, February 21 at 5:45 p.m. (SECN)

Why You Should Cancel Plans For It: Last year’s meeting between these teams was decided by just a few tenths, which could easily happen again tonight. Florida has lost the matchup as recently as 2018, and while the Gators are poised to get a big home score tonight based on their current trajectory, they will have to fight off a resurgent Crimson Tide to do so.  

What We’re Watching: Alabama lost an important floor piece last week when sophomore Griffin James went down; who will fill her spot tonight? Florida has also been missing an important vault and floor contributor in Nya Reed, who has not dressed out for the past several meets and is hopeful to return for the meet against Georgia in another meet.

What Else You Should Know Before Tuning In: Tonight is the Gators’ Link to Pink meet. Note the earlier start time than is usual for Florida home meets due to the triple header on the SEC Network. 

Big Fives with No. 16 Nebraska, No. 23 Illinois, No. 27 Ohio State, No. 33 Iowa and No. 44 Rutgers

When You Need to Tell Your Friends You’re Busy: Friday, February 21 at 7 p.m. ET on Flo 

Why You Should Cancel Plans For It: Alright here we are, it’s Big Ten inner workings refresher time. This is a little long but stay with me: Each Big Ten team competes against all nine other teams once every year. Five of those matchups are head-to-head duals, and then each team sees the other four teams at the Big Five meets, which Elevate the Stage currently hosts on podium in Toledo, Ohio. These meets are seeded by last year’s Big Ten rankings (Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 in one session, Nos. 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 in the other). The results of the Big Five meets determine two things: the Big Ten regular season champion and the seeding for the Big Ten conference championship. The top three teams from each session will compete in the Big Tens night session, while the bottom two from each session will be in the matinee meet. PHEW, got it? OK. 

Note that after publishing, the Big Ten released a revised championship format and this information is no longer correct. Please see our forthcoming live blogs for the updated format, or check out our tweet.

This session ended up being the less competitive one, simply because of these teams’ performance relative to last year’s finish. Nebraska and Illinois should be easily through, with the other three teams competing for the last spot. Ohio State certainly has the highest potential, but it has been shaky all year. Rutgers is the long shot, but with a hit floor rotation its total could be dangerous. Iowa is a wildcard; last year at Big Fives it came out of nowhere for a 196 and a night session berth; can the Hawkeyes do it again? We also can’t totally rule out the Huskers or Illini simply having a big miss here and not advancing to the night session.

What We’re Watching: There are a handful of linchpin routines for each of these teams that can make or break (Make It or Break It reference intended) that team’s hopes. Taylor Houchin needs to get out of her head on beam for the Huskers. For Illinois, it’s all about vault; those late lineup sets must go 9.800-plus for the Illini to push toward a 196. Ohio State needs a hit from its beam squad, especially late lineup sets capable of big numbers, like Ella Hodges and Alexis Hankins. For Iowa it’s about Clair Kaji being back in form and nailing a big score at the end of her three lineups with some Lauren Guerin 9.900s thrown in. Rutgers relies on Belle Huang and Hannah Joyner in the all around, but people like Shannon Farrell and Kaitlyn Hall need to stay clean earlier in lineups as well.

What Else You Should Know Before Tuning In: I (Emily M) am never going to stop talking about how wonderful it is that Elevate got us live scores for these meets. That’s so rare for a Flo-carried invite! Are you kidding me! I love it! 

Big Fives with No. 7 Minnesota, No. 9 Michigan, No. 24 Maryland, No. 29 Penn State and No. 31 Michigan State 

When You Need to Tell Your Friends You’re Busy: Saturday, February 22 at 7 p.m. ET on Flo

Why You Should Cancel Plans For It: This Big Five is the big kahuna, the white whale, the masterpiece, the do-not-miss-it-or-you-will-regret-it midseason battle we’ve all been waiting for. We finally (finally!) get to see Michigan and Minnesota on the same floor. The Wolverines are undefeated overall, and both teams are undefeated in the Big Ten. The Gophers took down Nebraska last week and are ahead in the rankings by 0.066. Yes, 66 thousandths of a point. Barring disaster, both will qualify to the Big Ten night session easily. But this is about bragging rights and the Big Ten regular season title. Whichever team wins here wins that trophy. Not to be left out of the fun, Maryland, Penn State and Michigan State are also largely evenly matched. The Terps have faltered slightly with Audrey Barber and Kirsten Peterman out, the Spartans have been surging and the Nittany Lions holding steady. That last night session spot will be about who hits on the day, and this is the kind of fight that could come down to the final routine. Get your popcorn ready.

What We’re Watching: Both Lexy Ramler and Natalie Wojcik have been a little off this year; a touch nervy. Ona Loper and Sierra Brooks have stepped into those reliable all arounder roles, but the trophy could come down to which of Ramler and Wojcik breaks through and has a big hit on all four pieces. Watch both closely. Freshmen could be the key for the Terps; Reese McClure had a breakout meet last weekend, and Emma Silberman has been solid in the all around. Don’t miss Tiara Wright on her three, either; she has that 9.900-potential necessary to close lineups. Penn State is about early lineup routines; stalwarts like Lauren Bridgens and Alissa Bonsall should hit, but the sets that come before them will be key to the team’s success. Michigan State needs its big-number potential routines to hit if it will get the upsets to advance to the night session: Jori Jackard on bars, Ella Douglas on beam and floor and Lea Mitchell on floor are key sets.

What Else You Should Know Before Tuning In: Wojcik’s 10.0 came at last year’s Elevate the Stage; this meet is no stranger to big scores. Keep in mind, also, that it is on podium. We might see some upgrades, or at least some hints at postseason upgrades during warmups. We know Bev Plocki wants to get Gabby Wilson in the all around; she exhibitioned beam last week. This might be the meet she lands in the top six.

No. 3 Utah at No. 3 UCLA

When You Need to Tell Your Friends You’re Busy: Sunday, February 23 at 6 pm ET on ESPN2

Why You Should Cancel Plans For It: To add to the drama of the clash of the Pac-12’s top two teams, they enter this meet literally tied in the rankings. It doesn’t get much more dramatic than this. While UCLA has had higher scores so far this season, Utah has been more consistent overall. This meet will be a great first indicator of not only which team could lift the Pac-12 trophy at the end of the season, but which of these two teams has the edge in the NCAA title race as well.

What We’re Watching: Both teams have stellar gymnasts from top to bottom in each lineup. If there’s ever a time that UCLA’s Kyla Ross would want to get a 40 in the all around, it would be this meet. Utah’s Kim Tessen has been just shy of the perfect mark several times in her career and would love to nab her first 10 on the road against a conference rival. Also keep an eye on the Bruins’ Gracie Kramer on floor, and the Utes’ Maile O’Keefe on beam.

What Else You Should Know Before Tuning In: Kyla Ross was out of the all around last week, but will almost certainly be back on all four events against Utah. 

Meets You Didn’t Know You Should Be Interested In

No. 17 Iowa State at No. 19 Southern Utah

When the Meet’s Happening: Friday, February 21 at 9 pm ET (PlutoTV)

Why You Should See the Error of Your Ways: Both these teams have been quietly killing it all year long with both earning slightly more recognition after meets in big venues (Iowa State) and program record scores (Southern Utah). The Thunderbirds have some troublesome early scores to drop and a big home total tonight would do well to get that started. The Cyclones are simply looking to see how far into the 196 (and 197) range it can go. 

Need More Proof? This is just the third meeting of these teams in the history of either program, and Iowa State has won both prior meetings. Southern Utah, however, has the highest score of the two this season. Add to that suspense two top 20 bars lineups and some of the funest floor routines in the country from Madison McBride and Andrea Maldonado and you’re in for an exciting night. 

No. 15 BYU at No. 5 Denver

When the Meet’s Happening: Saturday, February 22 at 8 p.m. ET

Why You Should See the Error of Your Ways: BYU has emerged as a front-runner in the MRGC. All of its past four meets scored above 196, but the Cougars tend to score better at home. That being said, this is the first midseason road test for the Cougars, and they’ll expect to do well. Meanwhile, Denver proved its worth thus far this season, but it lost Lynnzee Brown to an Achilles injury last meet. Replacing her routines won’t be an easy task, which makes this meet all the more interesting.

Need More Proof? BYU floor never disappoints. Shannon Evans has recently added the event back, and Brittney Vitkauskas is coming off a 9.900 performance. Abbey Miner stands out on beam and floor while her younger sister Sadie boasts a Yurchenko one and a half on vault. Maddie Karr is Denver’s all around star; she’s coming off a personal best and program record-tying 39.775. Alexis Vasquez’s beam never fails to impress, as she scored her second perfect 10.000 of the season last week.

Meets You Should at Least Record and Watch Later

Perfect 10 Challenge with No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 25 Stanford

When to Find It on the TV Guide: Friday, February 21 at 8 pm ET

Why You Should Clear Space on Your DVR: One should never miss a chance to watch the No. 1 ranked team, especially when it’s at a meet infamous for being a Carol-fest. Oklahoma will be looking to hit the 198 mark for the second week in a row and turn some of its frequent 9.975s into 10s while Stanford would love to notch back-to-back 196s after breaking that barrier in last week’s meet.

What to Look for If you Missed It: Sooner Maggie Nichols was halfway to a perfect 40 in the all around last weekend, and if the usual high scores are flying at this meet, it may happen. Also keep an eye on Allie Stern who stuck her Yurchenko one and a half on vault in Oklahoma’s last meet for a career high 9.975. Taylor Lawson has been stellar recently for the Cardinal—particularly with her standing Arabian on beam—as has Kyla Bryant who is finally seeming to figure out how to consistently bring in big scores on floor.

No. 21 Oregon State at No. 10 California

When to Find It on the TV Guide: Saturday, February 22 at 3 pm ET on Pac-12 Network

Why You Should Clear Space on Your DVR: The Golden Bears have steadily climbed up the rankings this season to nab a spot in the top 10 entering this meet. The Beavers, after making NCAAs a season ago, have yet to match their preseason expectations but have a chance to assert themselves amongst the best on the road against a top team.

What to Look for If you Missed It: Kyana George has been California’s top all arounder this season and has also helped the bars lineup sit at eighth nationally alongside Maya Bordas and Emi Watterson. Oregon State has excelled this season on beam with the Dagen sisters, Lacy and Madi, helping lead the way.

Links and Things

These aren’t the only meets happening this weekend. To see all the matchups all in one place, take a look at our master schedule. You can also find live scoring and video links for all this weekend’s competitions below.

Date Time (ET) Teams Scoring Link Video Link
Wed, Feb. 19 6:30 p.m. Cortland at Ithaca Scores ACCNX
Fri, Feb. 21 5:45 p.m. Ala at UF Scores SECN
Fri, Feb. 21 6 p.m. CMU at BGSU Scores
Fri, Feb. 21 7 p.m. CC, W&M at NCSU Scores ACCNX
Fri, Feb. 21 7 p.m. Ill, Iowa, UNL, tOSU, RU (Big Five) Scores Flo
Fri, Feb. 21 7 p.m. Ill St, SCSU, Temple, Ursinus, WCU (Pink Invitational) Scores
Fri, Feb. 21 7 p.m. WVU at Pitt Scores ACCNX
Fri, Feb. 21 7 p.m. UGA at UK Scores SECN+
Fri, Feb. 21 7:30 p.m. GAC at UWL Scores
Fri, Feb. 21 7:30 p.m. UWO at UWEC Scores
Fri, Feb. 21 7:30 p.m. Aub at Ark Scores SECN
Fri, Feb. 21 7:45 p.m. OU, Stan (Perfect 10) Scores
Fri, Feb. 21 8 p.m. Iowa St at SUU Scores PlutoTV
Fri, Feb. 21 9 p.m. Sac St, UCD, USU at Boise St Scores
Fri, Feb. 21 9 p.m. LSU at Miz Scores SECN
Fri, Feb. 21 10 p.m. SJSU at SPU Scores Free Stream
Sat, Feb. 22 3 p.m. Hamline, UWW at Winona Scores Free Stream
Sat, Feb. 22 4 p.m. OSU at Cal Scores PAC 12
Sat, Feb. 22 7 p.m. UMD, UM, MSU, UMN, PSU (Big Five) Scores FLO
Sat, Feb. 22 8 p.m. BYU at DU Scores
Sun, Feb. 23 11 a.m. Brown, Penn, Yale at Cornell Scores ESPN+
Sun, Feb. 23 1 p.m. BGSU, Towson, WMU at WVU Scores Free Stream
Sun, Feb. 23 1 p.m. NCSU, NIU, Temple at GW Scores Free Stream
Sun, Feb. 23 1 p.m. KSU at Ball St Scores ESPN3
Sun, Feb. 23 1 p.m. UNC at UNH Scores ESPN+
Sun, Feb. 23 1 p.m. RIC at Springfield Scores
Sun, Feb. 23 1 p.m. WCU at W&M Scores Free Stream
Sun, Feb. 23 2 p.m. Stan at Ariz Scores PAC 12
Sun, Feb. 23 2 p.m. Brockport, Ursinus at Ithaca Scores
Sun, Feb. 23 2 p.m. UWS at LU Scores Free Stream
Sun, Feb. 23 3 p.m. USAFA at TWU Scores Free Stream
Sun, Feb. 23 4 p.m. UW at ASU Scores PAC 12
Sun, Feb. 23 6 p.m. Utah at UCLA Scores ESPN2
Mon, Feb. 24 9 p.m. Pitt at SUU Scores Free Stream

Fantasy Gymnastics Resources

Don’t worry! We haven’t forgotten about Fantasy Gymnastics players. Check out our weekly feature, Fantasy Central, for the latest injury news, find out which teams are one a bye, advice on who to trade for and more.

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Article by the editors of College Gym News

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