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.
The season ended a week ago, and if you’re like me, you’ve already blanked out most of the drama in a desperate attempt to experience a non-gymnastics emotion for once. We’ll be revisiting that meet one more time today, though, in addition to highlighting some moments from USAG nationals that you might have missed in all the kerfuffle.
I really don’t have a ton of options of teams here given the events of the last few weeks, but I want to particularly highlight the Michigan floor squad. That event has caused trouble for Michigan all year and the 49.650 and 49.625 it delivered in Fort Worth are, in hindsight, what made the Wolverines unbeatable.
Great Except for That One Event
Two years after winning the USAG national championship on an extraordinary beam rotation, Lindenwood lost this year’s with a 47.800 on the same event after three missed routines. While it’s an unsurprising way to lose a championship given that event’s consistent vulnerability this year, it’s a frustrating one, especially after spending almost the whole season ranked No. 1.
Alabama’s excellence at nationals got slightly lost in the Utah-LSU shuffle. The Crimson Tide finished just a quarter tenth behind the Utes, and with minimal graduating routines and a great signing class there’s every reason to believe that Alabama will build on a very strong 2021 finish.
Just When You Thought They’d Done It
…We all had flashbacks to regionals while we waited for Reagan Campbell’s score on beam, right?
Was That Just a Fluke
Throughout the regular season this year there were reasonable concerns about Utah’s peak score compared to other top teams and its ability to compete at the highest level. Being ultra-consistent in the low 197.000 range might be good enough for a solid ranking, but it’s not going to take a team to the final four, right? Then the Utes delivered their best three scores of the year at the Pac-12 championship, the regional final and the national final. I’m not suggesting that Utah’s result this season might be a fluke—given its current recruiting, it’s clear that it’s not. I’m wondering instead if Utah is a team that genuinely peaks under pressure. If so, everyone else should be very afraid.
Won Twitter For The Week
Greg Marsden’s coaching change tracking chart is undendingly iconic and we’re going to be watching it VERY closely for the next entire eight months.
I Don’t Know Who Needs to Hear This, but…
The words “hate” and “bullying” have real meanings, and you can’t just apply them to anything you feel like and expect everyone to be on your side.
Well That’s Different
The USAG national bars champion was a…Centenary gymnast? Who’s barely competed all year after getting COVID? Into it.
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Article by Rebecca Scally
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