The NCAA Report Card: February 17, 2023

With just four weeks left until conference championships kick off, a new teacher’s pet has emerged. Breakout all-around performances and 10s from Abby Heiskell and Natalie Wojcik has us reminiscing on 2021 as Michigan is on Top of the Class this week. The Wolverines were the NCAA champions that year, and with most of the main characters from that roster still on campus, they’re looking like championship contenders once again and bump the Sooners from the top of this Report Card.

In 2023, the NCAA Report Card will measure which teams look like championship teams right now, meaning grades will not be cumulative. Rather, they’ll reflect averages over the most recent two weeks of competition—because what matters most in the postseason anyways is who’s hot at the right time. With the average NCAA champions’ score from the last five years now totaling 198.250, the standards for grades are rising, too. An event total of 49.600 or better is now required for an A+, 49.550 or better for an A, 49.500 for an A-, and the pattern continuing in five-hundredths of a point decreases per plus/minus.

The biggest upside to this new system is that it will indicate which teams have picked up momentum in a way that traditional rankings can’t. Grades will appear harsher at first because of this change—especially early in the season—but with a clean slate every two weeks, schools have the opportunity to rebound easily.

Top of the Class


Vault Bars Beam Floor
Weeks 1-2 A- A D A
Weeks 3-4 B+ C+ D A
Weeks 5-6 A- A- A- A+

The Latest: The Wolverines join the straight As club this week after they (finally) put their beam issues to bed with a streak of event totals of 49.350 or better the last three weekends. Surprisingly, vault is the only area of any concern right now, as Reyna Guggino’s sat Yurchenko one and a half the previous two weeks have forced Michigan to count the score from a Yurchenko full—and that’s really only an issue when you’re synonymous with nailing six 10.0 start values. Plus, with Naomi Morrison’s near-guaranteed 9.9 just resting, it’s likely just a matter of time until that’s all ironed out.

Honor Roll


Vault Bars Beam Floor
Weeks 1-2 D+ C D+ D
Weeks 3-4 D+ D+ C- B-
Weeks 5-6 B- B- A- A+

The Latest: The first month of the Crimson Tide’s season had people penciling it in for the most underwhelming team of 2023, but over the last two weeks it’s looked like the championship-contender it is on paper. Not only has it come the closest of anybody to knocking off the Sooners since last year’s national team final, but it out-vaulted and out-beamed them head to head, which are two of the defending champs’ best events. Luisa Blanco regaining her form and Lilly Hudson joining her as a regular 39.5-plus all-arounder has been critical as Alabama hopes to ride the wave of its season-righting Iron Bowl win as long as it can.


Vault Bars Beam Floor
Weeks 1-2 C A B+ A-
Weeks 3-4 C+ A- B B-
Weeks 5-6 C+ A+ A+ B+

The Latest: Even when removing the generous O’Connell Center scoring from last Friday, Florida looks like a team that’s going to contend for a championship in April. Vault landings continue to evade the Gators—who could also benefit from a sixth 10.0 start value from Rachel Baumann or Victoria Nguyen that we saw in preseason training if we want to get real nit-picky—but if that’s the only prominent issue right now, they’re in a good spot.


Vault Bars Beam Floor
Weeks 1-2 B B B B+
Weeks 3-4 A+ A- A- A-
Weeks 5-6 B+ A+ B+ A

The Latest: While it feels weird to drop the Sooners from the Top of the Class after they put up back-to-back 198s, the Wolverines beat them out this week with slightly more consistent event totals. Oddly, it’s beam that’s seen a slight regression over the last three weeks, with routines leaning toward 9.875 instead of 9.9-plus—which is unacceptable in the house that KJ Kindler built. But, that trend may be nothing more than some slight readjusting as Kindler figures out who Olivia Trautman permanently replaces in the lineup. Still, it’s something to keep an eye on across the Sooners’ other events as Trautman adds more back to her repertoire.


Vault Bars Beam Floor
Weeks 1-2 B- C A C+
Weeks 3-4 B+ C+ A- C+
Weeks 5-6 D+ A A+ B+

The Latest: The unfortunate injury to Grace McCallum marred what was, otherwise, a strong two weeks for the Utes, who had finally broken the 198 barrier in a pivotal rivalry win. Now, with their Olympian sidelined indefinitely, Utah’s season will be defined by how it responds. The pieces are there, as rookie Makenna Smith stepped up in the all-around big time to help Utah scrounge up a respectable 197.600 in response to the damaging vault rotation at Metroplex, but depth is going to be truly put to the test with Lucy Stanhope also currently sidelined. Thankfully, if Maile O’Keefe continues the scoring pattern she’s maintained on beam this season, she’ll be bringing in much-needed 10.025s the next two meets.

Plenty of Potential


Vault Bars Beam Floor
Weeks 1-2 B- C+ C C+
Weeks 3-4 C C+ C+ B
Weeks 5-6 C+ B+ B- A

The Latest: Promisingly, the Tigers have improved across the board since the last report card, but they’re still lacking the giant event totals to be able to make a push for the top four. Only on floor has Auburn been able to go over 49.500 in 2023, with the other three events hitting that mark once each and having no other totals within a tenth of it. It seems that Auburn may be attempting to peak at just the right time in the postseason, but the strategy of putting up a team that’s looking good right now against teams that have looked good all season has its risks. At least Sunisa Lee has been great all year, and Cassie Stevens emerging as the second standout all-arounder in lieu of Sophia Groth—who’s been suffering from a sophomore slump—has kept Auburn in the top seven all year. However, Groth’s lurking potential keeps the Tigers very dangerous.


Vault Bars Beam Floor
Weeks 1-2 C+ B C+ B
Weeks 3-4 F B+ B D
Weeks 5-6 C A- B- C+

The Latest: While the Golden Bears are honing in on their usual traits—heavy all-arounder lineup composition, excellent on bars and beam, slightly inconsistent—they’ve got a whole new feel in 2023. Adding vault and floor standout eMjae Frazier has been instrumental in raising the scoring ceilings for both events, as has the improvements of Mya Lauzon. That pair’s 10.0 start value vaults mean that Nevaeh DeSouza no longer has to carry the lineup, and Frazier’s ability to slide right into the beam six has also played a major role in California’s rise to nationals favorite. Moving forward, it’s all about staying consistent on its strong events and actually hitting the leg ones.


Vault Bars Beam Floor
Weeks 1-2 C C+ D C-
Weeks 3-4 B+ B- D- C+
Weeks 5-6 B C C+ A

The Latest: Aleah Finnegan’s recent breakout almost stings as it means the Tigers would’ve been a surefire title contender if the roster was 100 percent healthy, but her ability to slide into the scoring hole vacated by Kiya Johnson is keeping them in nationals contention. The 39.800 Finnegan put up recently is the second-best mark of 2023 and ties her sister Sarah’s best all-around total from her time as one of the best ever to sport an LSU leo. Vault, beam, and floor are currently in a good spot for the Tigers, but bars has fallen consistently flat and counted a score in the 9.7s the last two weeks. That’s the event where if it can get back to its early season form sans Johnson, LSU could put itself in an even better spot to make a run to nationals.

Oregon State

Vault Bars Beam Floor
Weeks 1-2 D F C- C
Weeks 3-4 C- C- B B
Weeks 5-6 D+ C+ B+ B-

The Latest: With every team total over the last month within 0.175 of each other, the Beavers have been the most consistent team of late. Much-needed growth on bars has aided it in staying competitive with top-10 teams, but its lack of scores over 49.500 have prevented it from outmatching its opponents—with two ties in its last three meets. Form and landing errors have had the vault lineup fighting for 49s as the Beavers have yet to capitalize on Jade Carey there, but as long as the other three events maintain their trajectories, they’re firmly in the nationals discussion.


Vault Bars Beam Floor
Weeks 1-2 C+ A- C A-
Weeks 3-4 C B F A
Weeks 5-6 D B+ A- A-

The Latest: Two 10.0 start value vaults aren’t cutting it, as it’s the obvious hole for the Bruins and the event that singlehandedly kept them out of the 198s last weekend. Yet, with Jordan Chiles and Selena Harris, they’re remaining competitive and pose a huge threat to any team when they’re actually able to maximize on their Yurchenko fulls. UCLA gained momentum over the last few weeks with a respectable total at Utah minus Chae Campbell that was succeeded by a new home high, and that positive swing is needed as its final regular-season test comes this weekend against California. The Golden Bears are the last team on the Bruins’ schedule currently ranked in the top 20, making this the final opportunity for them to put heavy pressure on lineups before the postseason gets underway.

Room for Improvement


Vault Bars Beam Floor
Weeks 1-2 D- F D+ C
Weeks 3-4 C+ C F B
Weeks 5-6 C C+ C+ C+

The Latest: With just one event total over 49.500, the Razorbacks haven’t shown much explosive scoring potential but have been increasingly stable the last month after a few disastrous rotations and an overall slow start to the season. Arkansas is primed for a sizable jump up the rankings after the switch to NQS, as it can drop its 195.525 from Week 2, putting it in contention for a solid regionals seed. A default low-197 may not win every meet or wow every fan, but it can sneakily get a team by in a chaotic postseason.


Vault Bars Beam Floor
Weeks 1-2 C C- B- C-
Weeks 3-4 C B- C- C-
Weeks 5-6 C+ B- B- C

The Latest: After a wildly inconsistent opening month of the season, working Lynnzee Brown back into the all-around has leveled things out a bit. The Pioneers’ 197s the last few weeks have been promising, but for a team with an outside shot at nationals, they must show 198-ability sooner rather than later before being left behind by the top 10. Denver’s weaker events, the power ones,mm, should continue to improve as Brown gets more reps under her this season, but getting its bars and beam back to the level they were at in 2022 is necessary for its NCAAs dreams.


Vault Bars Beam Floor
Weeks 1-2 C- D+ C C-
Weeks 3-4 D+ C+ C+ B-
Weeks 5-6 C B- C+ C-

The Latest: The Wildcats have cooled off a bit since their program-record 197.825 in Week 4 although have remained steady enough to remain in the nationals conversation. Kentucky’s biggest issue right now is that it performs to the level of its competition rather than the talent on its roster. Its largest totals and momentous wins have come against the likes of top 10 foes Alabama and LSU, while its lows are against teams ranked in the teens like Ohio State and Georgia—the two losses on its schedule. It’s atypical to still be searching for an identity over a month into the season, but a date with Arkansas and a trip to Florida before the next update should help solidify Kentucky’s status as a nationals contender or pretender.

Michigan State

Vault Bars Beam Floor
Weeks 1-2 C F D C
Weeks 3-4 C- C C+ C
Weeks 5-6 C C+ F C-

The Latest: Without the early season bars-pocalypse and last week’s beam-plosion, Michigan State would have nearly straight Cs this year, which is reflective of the incredibly consistent season it has had. The issue is that Cs are average, and that’s what the Spartans have been, with just one event total topping 49.400 this year and a single score above 9.925—Nikki Smith’s stuck Yurchenko one and a half for a 9.950 all the way back in Week 3. Michigan State is in a prime position to jump up the rankings through the early weeks of the NQS transition to put itself in a favorable spot concerning postseason seeding, but it must amplify its scores. Nationals teams are above-average at worst, and the Spartans’ roster can be great.

Tutor Time


Vault Bars Beam Floor
Weeks 1-2 F F B+ C+
Weeks 3-4 F C D- C+
Weeks 5-6 D+ C- F C+

The Latest: Even if the Tigers’ vaults at Florida were scored as loosely as fans wanted, they’ve been underwhelming as a whole on the event this year. For a lineup with four Yurchenko one and a halves, a season-high in the 49.3s isn’t going to compete in the SEC, let alone nationally. However, the most concerning event presently is beam, where Missouri excelled a season ago and lost no routines from the top six. Instead of ending the lineup with guaranteed 9.9s, usual stars Helen Hu, Alisa Sheremeta, and Sienna Schreiber are following up early lineup falls with mistakes of their own. Bars and floor have been average, but the Tigers are at risk of dropping out of regionals seeding just a year after finishing fifth in the country.

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Article by Brandis Heffner

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