It’s fun to watch rankings change every week, but they only tell us so much about the status of a team. Which teams are on the rise and which are barely hanging on? Which ones have a competitive ranking by the grace of their RQS drop scores and which will pose a real threat in postseason? I’ll dig into the real dynamics of NCAA gymnastics in this biweekly column that’s part power ranking, part high school yearbook awards—all serious analysis.
Just kidding, almost zero serious analysis.
It’s always hard for me to focus on nationals in the week before nationals. As the USAG editor, I focus REALLY hard on that meet and then I struggle to believe there’s actually more. I mean, I guess I care who wins the championship but my headspace is mostly recruiting and coaching changes at this point. If you want to read some actual analysis of the championship, though, we can definitely make that happen. Just don’t expect seriousness from me. (What else is new?)
People keep making these immense logical leaps to justify their Michigan Is In Trouble, Actually hot takes and I UNDERSTAND, I do. I’ve seen Michigan flop in postseason as many times as you have and have been at least as personally scarred by the experience. But this year, I just don’t buy it. Even the “””bad””” Michigan meets from the last few months have been easily good enough to contend in all but the most wacko semifinals, so I struggle to see the problem. And the good Michigan meets…phew. There’s no team that can feel confident in its ability to beat that.
Great Except for That One Event
LSU on beam, and I have nothing else to say about it, bye.
Before regionals, I had a lot of reasons why I was sure Utah couldn’t contend for a championship. Now I’m nowhere near as sure. Remember that the LOWEST score in the Salt Lake City regional final was a 197.600, and that before that day Utah had only scored higher than that one time in 2021. While we were all distracted by the LSU drama, don’t forget that it absolutely could have been Utah in trouble instead, but Utah came in clutch with the season high when it counted.
Just When You Thought They’d Done It
Um, Kentucky. Once again, I have nothing else to say about it, bye.
Why Is This Happening
Let’s stop with the “I just KNOW X team is going to be awful to the individuals rotating with it at nationals because I personally dislike X team” discourse. It’s not going to happen, guys, and it’s weird that you seem to want it to happen so badly just to validate your preferences. Doubly so when the athletes involved are actually friends with each other.
Was That Just a Fluke
I see you, No. 14 Missouri with your best gymnast out for the season and a 5-star signee joining in the fall. While the Tigers were the beneficiary of Auburn’s brutally timed withdrawal, the scores they produced at regionals were legitimate in the extreme. We knew Missouri would be good in the future, but Missouri being this good right now is a definite surprise.
Won Twitter for The Week
Gymternet’s newfound passion for the Illinois State team mascot has been absolutely delightful.
I Don’t Know Who Needs to Hear This, but…
We can see your tweets, guys. When you’re talking sh*t about your teammates on Twitter, that is public, and we can all read it. Please remember this for the future, for everyone’s comfort.
Well That’s Different
You know how teams sometimes do bonding activities before meets on long road trips? In advance of USAG nationals last weekend, Air Force got to go and…feed some goats. I love goats, but still. One wonders how much there is to do for fun in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
READ THIS NEXT: Leotard Rankings: USAG Nationals and the NCGA
Article by Rebecca Scally
Like what you see? Consider donating to support our efforts throughout the year!