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CGN Roundtable: Big Matchups, Schedules, and Underrated Meets in 2024

With the majority of the 2024 schedules now released, we wanted to take a moment to dive into the matchups and pull out some of the ones we’re most looking forward to seeing play out this season. From the most anticipated meets to underrated thrills, this week’s roundtable is all about the 2024 schedule.

Check out the master schedule for yourself, then let us know which meets you’re most excited for in the comments!

There are so many big invitationals and multi-session meets this season. Which are you looking forward to most?

Emily Lockard illustrated headshotEmily L: I was a big fan of the Super 16 meet last year, and I’m excited to watch it again! Last year the meet did a great job of putting teams that don’t usually compete head to head in the same session while still keeping each session competitive, and I’m ready to see it again this year with some new teams! 

Savanna Whitten illustrated headshotSavanna: The ESPN Events invitational was immediately at the top of my list. All four teams qualified to the national championships last year, and three of them were in the team final. It’ll be a high-quality meet and a showstopper from the first salute to the last landing.

Julianna: I agree with Savanna. I definitely am super excited for the inaugural ESPN invitational. With the teams who are competing being four of the five topranking finishers from last season, this meet is going to be one that sets the tone for the rest of the season; what are the scores going to look like? What will these teams look like week one? Needless to say, this meet will be one to watch! 

Illustrated headshot of Brandis HeffnerBrandis: Like many of my fellow editors, the Sprouts Farmers Market Collegiate Quad meets immediately come to mind. Bringing in some of the best teams in the country for the premier matchup and bookending it with other competitive sessions was a genius way for ESPN Events to get involved with collegiate gymnastics.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: The annual Collegiate Challenge in Tennessee is frustrating due to the lack of video (and often scores), but it always brings big (albeit ridiculous) scores. Remember Ball State’s program record and Fisk’s 9.925 beam? Bring it on!


Illustrated headshot of Alyssa Van AukerAlyssa: The first one to come to mind for me is the Sprouts Farmers Market Collegiate Quad meets in January but for a different reason than many of my fellow editors. When the graphic with television details was posted, seeing that two sessions were being broadcasted on ACC Network just made me so happy that I instantly marked that day on my calendar. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: It seems like there are more neutral site meets this season than before, but I’m most excited for the inaugural ESPN Events Invitational. That’s a lot of highquality gymnastics all in one place and I’m excited to see what it has in store. 

What about which “normal” multi-team meet that’s not at a neutral site?

Emily Lockard illustrated headshotEmily L: I was absolutely thrilled to see that UCLA, Oklahoma, and Stanford are coming to Denver for a quad meet. Denver has a lot to prove this year after losing Lynnzee Brown, and UCLA and Oklahoma are always fun to watch. Plus, Stanford should never be counted out, and the Cardinal has some great freshmen coming in this year. I’ll also be there in person live blogging, so I can’t wait to be in the arena and feel all the excitement! 

Savanna Whitten illustrated headshotSavanna: Oklahoma has an interesting quad in February with new Big 12 foe BYU, Texas Woman’s, and Utah State. The Sooners typically don’t host a lot of quad meets outside of postseason at the Lloyd Noble Center, and this one is made up of interesting teams that all have something to prove.

Julianna: The Fisk, Talladega, Temple at Auburn quad is one I’m looking forward to. I feel like SEC schools don’t normally host more quads, so anytime an SEC hosts more than a dual, I’m always intrigued! This meet is seeing a lot of different teams that normally wouldn’t go up against each other, and with the addition of a team (Talladega) in their first season, this will definitely be an exciting meet to watch.

Illustrated headshot of Brandis HeffnerBrandis: The Sooners and Bruins are doubling down on battles in January with an intriguing second matchup at Denver alongside Stanford. The Pioneers are fresh off a nationals appearance, and Stanford’s crew of former five-star recruits will be tested in a quad meet featuring plenty of storylines.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: There are a couple. First, I can’t wait for the MLK Jr. Day meet at Fisk featuring all Black women head coaches. What a historic occasion! I’m also selfishly excited for Clemson and Oklahoma at Texas Woman’s for my first in-person glimpse at (and photography opportunity of) the Tigers.

AIllustrated headshot of Alyssa Van Aukerlyssa: Florida has a quad meet for its senior meet this year where the Gators are hosting Iowa State, LIU, and N.C. State. Having the ACC and EAGL teams coming down to Florida at the end of the season is a great NQS move that I always enjoy getting to watch. 

Illustrated headshot of Peri GoodmanPeri: There are loads of quad meets that span four conferences, and those always catch my eye. Right off the bat in week one, North Carolina hosting Ball State, Utah State, and Rutgers will be one to watch. 


Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: I’m also excited for the Denver quad meet. It’s the reigning national champion Sooners, 2023 national semifinalists UCLA and Denver, and an exciting Stanford team all in one place. I’m stoked to be able to attend it in person!

Which 2024 dual are you most looking forward to?

Emily Lockard illustrated headshotEmily L: I’m really excited to watch Kentucky at Alabama this year. The Wildcats upset the Crimson Tide at regionals last year to advance to nationals, and I’m interested to see if Kentucky can prove it wasn’t a fluke. 


Savanna Whitten illustrated headshotSavanna: I feel like I say this every year, but I really cannot wait for LSU vs. Florida. LSU’s returning lots of big names from injury, and Florida is losing some stars due to graduation or deferral for the Olympics. Not to mention that it will be the return of Savannah Schoenherr to the O’Dome after a stellar five-year career, so there are a lot of storylines to keep track of.

Julianna: I’m super excited to watch N.C. State at Georgia this year. N.C. State has been on the rise for the past couple of years, so if it could come out strong early in the season against a big SEC team, it would give it that extra boost of confidence going into the rest of the year, especially as it enters its first year in the ACC.

Illustrated headshot of Brandis HeffnerBrandis: With the Bruins moving to the Big Ten and the Utes to the Big 12 after this season, I’m pumped for the final edition of the Utah and UCLA rivalry as we know it. This meet always comes down to the final routines, and with the last Pac-12 title up for grabs this year, this dual will surely bring the excitement.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: Clemson at UCLA on the Bruins’ senior night is so fun. The Tigers’ inaugural schedule is just a touch boring, so I’m glad it’s finishing out the regular season with a bang.


Illustrated headshot of Alyssa Van AukerAlyssa: Partly LSU at Florida since I will get to watch it in person this year, but I am also excited to watch all of the ACC duals. Many of the teams are tightly matched which will give some variability to results.


Illustrated headshot of Peri GoodmanPeri: Building off last year’s MPSF championship, I’m going with San Jose State on the road at UC Davis. They finished 2023 as a prime example of “one two-ing” the regular season in their conference, right down to the championship meet. 


Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: This is a hard question since there are so many every year! Iowa has a duo of interesting non-Big Ten meets in hosting Washington and Southern Utah. Washington has a strong freshmen class, while Southern Utah hopes its freshmen can begin to replace the multitude of graduated routines. Plus, Iowa should have a solid team too. 

What’s an underrated meet on the calendar that you think will end up being particularly competitive that fans may not necessarily consider?

Emily Lockard illustrated headshotEmily L: Florida at Auburn! Since Florida is always so close to winning the national title, I feel like people automatically assume that it’ll have no trouble winning all of its regular-season meets. But I think Auburn might have the potential to give the Gators some trouble this year. Florida has some huge shoes to fill with the graduation of Trinity Thomas and the deferral of Kayla DiCello, and Auburn has some stellar newcomers in Bryn Bartman, Julianne Huff, Olivia Greaves, and Hailey John.

Savanna Whitten illustrated headshotSavanna: My eyes are on the Iowa State/Iowa Cy-Hawk Classic. The Hawkeyes have been on the rise for quite a few seasons now, and the Cyclones are rebuilding but showing signs of improvement in preseason footage. It could be a lot closer than in previous years. 

Julianna: I am excited to see the Maryland at Michigan State meet in midFebruary. Maryland for the past couple of years has been getting into more of those top spots but is constantly underestimated. On top of that, Michigan State has been an absolute powerhouse for the past few seasons, so seeing these two teams duel in a mid-season matchup will definitely be a great meet to watch. 

Illustrated headshot of Brandis HeffnerBrandis: Overshadowed by the opening night of the Collegiate Quads, Missouri at Alabama is an intriguing matchup in the second week of the season. The Crimson Tide is deservedly getting a lot of hype with a highly touted recruiting class joining a roster full of returnees, but the Tigers also kept a number of key pieces and bolstered their depth with strong freshmen and key LIU transfer Mara Titarsolej. Missouri has an early opportunity to make a statement in 2024.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: Lindenwood at Illinois State during the final week of the regular season could very well be a preview of the MIC championship a week later. Those two teams are likely to be very closely matched, and both are on the rise, with the Lions coming off a 2023 USAG national championship title and the Redbirds winning the 2023 MIC title.

Illustrated headshot of Alyssa Van AukerAlyssa: Late in the season Maryland is visiting Towson in an in-state showdown which should be a close meet. Towson has been on the rise in recent years with consecutive regional qualifying seasons and going against a consistently good Maryland squad will be a great benchmark heading into the postseason. 

Illustrated headshot of Peri GoodmanPeri: Monday meets don’t typically rake in viewership, so I’m pitching the case for Arizona State hosting Central Michigan in week one. It could be closer of a meet than it looks on paper, with Central Michigan showing it has solved last year’s beam puzzle, and Arizona State starting off the year a few notches lower than it had finished in 2023. 

TTara Graeve Illustrated Headshotara: I’m eyeing Arizona State and Utah State at Southern Utah. On paper, Arizona State has the edge, but there are lots of exciting storylines and connections. Utah State’s head coach came to the Aggies by way of Arizona State; her team is poised to continue to improve with a freshman class featuring multiple rated recruits, a healthy Amari Evans, and Arizona State transfer Juliette Boyer. It could be close between the Aggies and Thunderbirds; don’t count either team out, either. 

Which team do you think has the “best” schedule in terms of fun opponents or exciting matchups?

Emily Lockard illustrated headshotEmily L: I actually think Texas Woman’s has a pretty stacked schedule! The Pioneers will be going up against some really good teams like Auburn, Oklahoma, Alabama, and LSU. They’ll also get to compete with Clemson in its inaugural season. It should be fun for TWU to go up against so many fun teams!

Savanna Whitten illustrated headshotSavanna: The reigning national champion Oklahoma has a lot of fun matchups in store. Besides the previously mentioned home quad and the ESPN meet, it’s scheduled to attend Metroplex again and has a quad meet against Denver, UCLA, and Stanford, which is such a fun matchup. The Sooners also have Alabama at home on what appears to be senior night, which should be one of the marquee matchups of the weekend. 

Julianna: Kentucky’s schedule is quite literally packed. The Wildcats don’t see anyone outside the SEC until mid-February when they go up against BYU. Kentucky has been steadily climbing over the past couple of seasons, and with the addition of a pretty impressive incoming class of five freshmen and keeping on Raena Worley and Arianna Patterson for a fifth year, Kentucky is set up to have some really great, exciting meets. 

Illustrated headshot of Brandis HeffnerBrandis: If Stanford is to continue its rise back up the rankings this season, it will have to do so against one of the toughest schedules. The Cardinal opens at Michigan before taking on a trio of 2023 nationals teams in the Denver quad, finishes an always-tricky Pac-12 dual-meet slate with Utah, UCLA, and California in consecutive weeks, and closes the season on the road at tri-meets hosted by the Utes and Golden Bears. Stanford’s first matchup against a team that finished outside of the top 21 last season is March 15–the regular season’s final week. The plus side to the situation is plenty of chances for an upset.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: I’ll second Emily L’s answer. Texas Woman’s always brings in great opponents because teams like to get a dry run at traveling to the Lone Star State as a precursor to nationals. As a current Dallas resident, I appreciate the wealth of great college gymnastics to watch and take pictures of.

Illustrated headshot of Alyssa Van AukerAlyssa: Looking at non-conference schedules, I really like the variety in N.C. State’s schedule. The Wolfpack starts and ends its season against SEC opponents and has multiple fun quad meets competing against teams in almost every conference.

Illustrated headshot of Peri GoodmanPeri: Hands down, Northern Illinois. A hefty seven of their meets this year are quad meets (eight if we include the infamous conference championship), facing teams from eight conferences while still managing to see action with each MAC team. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: Savanna’s right—Oklahoma’s schedule is awesome and packed with lots of exciting matchups between top teams. I also want to give a shoutout to Washington’s schedule. The Huskies have a number of exciting non-conference opponents from Minnesota, Boise State, and Arizona State to Oklahoma. 

Name one meet from your beat (if you have one) that fans should keep an eye on.

Emily Lockard illustrated headshotEmily L: I’m on the ACC and EAGL beat, and I’m excited for both of this year’s Clemson vs. Pittsburgh matchups. These are both teams with a lot to prove, with Clemson in its inaugural season and Pittsburgh trying to bounce back after failing to qualify for regionals last year. These duals are sure to be filled with a lot of energy and a lot of emotion.

Savanna Whitten illustrated headshotSavanna: Settle in, folks, because the best things come in threes (it’s me, I have three beats). For the Big 12, the BYU-Iowa State dual will be one to keep an eye on since it appears it will be the Cougars’ first dual meet in their new conference. In the Mountain West, Utah State will face Southern Utah three times in 2024, but their dual in early February is what I’ll be watching. Finally, in the MPSF, the Sacramento State-Air Force dual looks like it will be a lot of fun, and it’s one everyone should watch because these teams appear to be showing signs of improvement and could make this a fun showdown.

Julianna: I don’t have a beat, but one meet I am super excited to watch is Clemson’s first. The Tigers are competing against William & Mary in the second week of the season, and I am just excited to see how they compete in their first meet out. The team has some athletes who have competed in the NCAA before and who have a lot of experience, but there are also several athletes who have not competed at all, so to see how the whole team fares will be very exciting.

Illustrated headshot of Brandis HeffnerBrandis: The state of Arizona has been dominated by the Sun Devils in the college gymnastics realm since 2017, having won every dual over the Wildcats since then. But that may change this season with Arizona capable of making some noise. Adding a top-10 freshman class to a Malia Hargrove-led roster already on an upswing could give the Wildcats the intrastate rivalry win in 2024. Either way, it’s shaping up to be one of the most competitive duals in years.

Illustrated headshot of Alyssa Van AukerAlyssa: I also cover both the EAGL and ACC and those ACC duals are just so intriguing. The North Carolina and N.C. State duals were fun last season and I am looking forward to the tight race in the ACC version of the matchup.


Illustrated headshot of Peri GoodmanPeri: I write about all things MAC, and I’m excited for this year’s matchup between Kent State and Western Michigan. They’re both teams that settle into their lineups early in the year, and share floor as their strong event. To add emotion to this dual meet, last year Kent State edged out Western Michigan by exactly 0.500 – the Golden Flashes went all in on floor to close the meet, while the Broncos were forced to count a fall (see above the 0.500 margin) on beam. Without going into my full play-by-play, there’s a score to settle between these two teams. 

If you could attend any meet on the 2024 schedule in person, which one would it be?

Emily Lockard illustrated headshotEmily L: If it were possible, I’d love to attend Fisk, George Washington, and Talladega at Florida. All of these teams are super interesting to me. I’m excited to see what Fisk and Talladega can do in their second and first seasons, respectively. I’m one of the EAGL editors, so I’d love to see George Washington in person, and I’ve always wanted to watch Florida in the O’Dome. It’s pretty much impossible for me to be there, but a girl can dream!

Savanna Whitten illustrated headshotSavanna: Oooh, so many. I’m hoping the stars align (and the wedding budget recovers) for me to attend SECs in New Orleans, but if not, I have my eye on the Centenary quad with Alaska, Greenville, and Talladega. It’s a fun matchup and one that definitely could go anyone’s way. 

Julianna: I would love to go to any LSU or Florida meet (or the LSU-Florida dual!). Truly I would just love to be a part of a big, hyped-up crowd, but I feel like these two gymnastics communities love these teams so much. The environment of the home crowds for both teams just seems so electric, so I would just love to experience that for real!

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: Apart from the meets I’m already planning to attend, I would love to see the Collegiate Quad sessions in person. I also have attending/shooting a Utah and an LSU home meet on my gymnastics bucket list.


Illustrated headshot of Alyssa Van AukerAlyssa: Since the question is any meet, I would choose the ACC championship. I am excited for this era of ACC gymnastics and I would love to watch the battle. Flights to Greensboro are not conveniently timed or reasonably priced so it would be hard to make it there.

Illustrated headshot of Peri GoodmanPeri: Is there room in Alyssa’s car to also choose the ACC championship? I would love a ‘Best of the Carolinas’ meet, but it looks like without a North Carolina, N.C. State, and Clemson trimeet, this is as close as I’m getting to it this season.


Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: Besides the meets I’m planning on attending (shoutout to the Denver quad in particular), I’d love to go to California and Oklahoma at Arizona State. With the team being new, it’d be awesome to attend a Clemson home meet, too. 

READ THIS NEXT: How Are NCAA Gymnastics Schedules Determined?

Article by the editors of College Gym News


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