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 NQS 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 first week of the 2022 season was defined almost more by the teams we didn’t see than the ones we did, which makes the always-entertaining week one rankings even sillier than usual. Still, a lot of the week one overperformers put up genuinely extraordinary scores even by their own standards and are set up very well for the remainder of the season. Teams like San Jose State, North Carolina and Michigan State are unlikely to be flashes in the pan when the routine quality to put up 196-ish scores weekly is there.
There were lots of dominant performances in week one of the 2022 NCAA gymnastics season, but by far the most impactful contributor was our old friend SARS-Cov-2. Michigan looks fantastic, but not fantastic enough to destroy the entire Pac-12 in one fell swoop.
Honorable mention to San Jose State, though. That was pretty cool.
On the Struggle Bus
Oh, Georgia. There’s so much theoretical great gymnastics in Athens (Soraya Hawthorne’s DTY… gone but never forgotten) that it stings even more to see the team looking so helpless and listless.
Why Is This Happening
I don’t want to pick on the poor girl because she was hardly her team’s only problem, but how did Shania Adams manage to lose her dance series on both beam AND floor and not attempt a backup plan in either case?? What. How. She must have been coached on what to do in that situation… right?
Do You Have a Seventh Routine
Michigan, there’s a lot to love about your team right now but, umm… You’re gonna want to fix Nicoletta Koulos’ hand sooner rather than later.
Next Week, I Swear
I really hope everyone’s 10.0 vaults are back next week. Florida’s vault lineup had the most high-profile baffling choices of the week, but Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois, Illinois State, Alabama, Towson, Ohio State, Arkansas and likely several others I don’t even remember were missing top vaults that we KNOW existed in December. I have to assume that most of these were COVID-related and if so, the COVID vault lineup is undoubtedly ranked No. 1 in the country.
Won Twitter for the Week
I mean, it’s gotta be this.
But for fairness I’ll award an unofficial “Won Facebook for the Week” award for Suzanne Yoculan, who wasted no time calling Greg a dickhead. Her phrasing, not mine.
(I wonder how many letters of that word my editor will let me print in this article?)
Editor’s note: All of them, surprisingly. Like Rebecca said, Suzanne said it.
Dear friends, we’re gathered here today to celebrate the lives of our dear departed, the California Grand Collegiate Challenge and also Morgan Hurd’s ACL.
I Don’t Know Who Needs to Hear This, but…
If you didn’t pick Michigan State to make regionals, you are a clown. With love. But a clown nevertheless.
(This is likely also true for Stanford and Washington, but I’ll wait a little longer to go on the record about those just in case I end up looking dumb.)
I Don’t Know Who Needs to Hear This, but… (Pt. 2)
Remember when I live blogged Best of Utah and mentioned that Grace McCallum’s very long bars routine might turn out to be a liability and everyone was all “don’t be such a downer it’s literally fine” and then she immediately fell on bars?
Fall of the Week
No contest. There were some ugly falls, there were some dramatic falls, there were some downright dangerous falls (looking at you, Kendall Sanders…), but nothing beats Abby Paulson on pure comedic value.
READ THIS NEXT: The Dismount: Week 1
Article by Rebecca Scally
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