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  Home:  Features:  Race to Regionals


The Race to Regionals:  February 27th, 2007


Nationally, the top six teams have remained in the same order this week, with #1 Florida and #2 Georgia continuing to lead the pack.  #3 Stanford failed to improve its RQS due to a weak away meet, and #4 Alabama is catching up despite counting a beam fall in this weekend’s meet.  With a strong showing this weekend, #6 UCLA has likewise gained some ground on #5 Utah.

#7 Nebraska and #8 LSU overtook #9 Oklahoma this week, while #10 Iowa State maintained the status quo.  #11 Oregon State and #12 Arkansas leapfrogged over three teams (#13 Denver, #14 Auburn, and #17 Arizona), thanks to big RQS improvements resulting from new away scores replacing old ones more than two points lower.  Unable to improve its RQS due to a weak home meet, Arizona dropped four spots in the rankings.  Michigan, with an RQS for the first time this season, joins the top eighteen this week, at #15.  #16 Penn State and #18 Ohio State round out the teams in position for seeded berths to Regionals.

An analysis of the potential individual qualifiers to Regionals will begin with the March 5 rankings.

Central Region

Seeded teams:

#4 Alabama
#8 LSU
#14 Auburn
#18 Ohio State

Unseeded teams currently in position to qualify to Regionals:

#20 Kent State
#25 Michigan State
#26 Kentucky

Next in line:

#31 Central Michigan
#40 Western Michigan

Notably missing due to lack of RQS: Eastern Michigan, which appears to be scoring similarly to Western Michigan thus far.

This deep region continues to see things shaken up on a weekly basis.  There is a very strong set of teams vying for the unseeded positions, some of which may end the season seeded, and some of which may end the season as top 36 teams without qualifying for Regionals berths.

With two strong home meets this weekend, including a new season high, Kent State (194.255) improved its RQS by .8.  Central Michigan (193.1), hosted by Kent State, had its own new season high and a nearly identical RQS increase.  Michigan State (193.955) has an RQS for the first time this week.  Kentucky (193.835) only managed to improve its RQS slightly (.015), and this may be an ongoing trend for this team, which has all of its counting scores within a very tight range.

North Central Region

Seeded teams:

#5 Utah
#10 Iowa State
#13 Denver

Unseeded teams currently in position to qualify for Regionals:

#22 Brigham Young (unofficial – Monday night meet after rankings came out)
#24 Iowa
#28 Minnesota

Next in line:

#30 Utah State
#34 Southern Utah

This deep region continues to have eight teams in the top 36 with only three in the top 18.  Despite RQS increases, Brigham Young (194.065) and Iowa (193.985) each lost a little ground this week in their attempts to break into that top group.  Minnesota (193.46) overtook Utah State (193.205) for the final unseeded position in this region, but that race continues to be a close one.  Each of those two teams has a 191 score still counting, and dropping that could be a big boost.  Southern Utah (192.57) replaced a 188 with a 194 this week, and this team still has a wide range of scores, giving them potential for upward mobility.

Northeast Region

Seeded teams:

#15 Michigan
#16 Penn State

Unseeded teams currently in position to qualify for Regionals:

#35 New Hampshire
#39 Pittsburgh
#48 Rutgers

Next in line:

#52 Cornell
#54 Pennsylvania

With only three teams in the top 36, competition in this region is unquestionably the thinnest and shows the least movement in rankings from week to week or even year to year.  Michigan joins the RQS rankings this week at #15, a weak showing for a perennial power, largely attributed to injuries to key athletes.  Both Michigan and Penn State have a 193 and a 194 score counting in the RQS and will need to drop those to solidify their positions in the top group.

New Hampshire (192.555) continues to lead the best of the rest, replacing a 188 with a 193 this week and with a 189 still counting.  Pittsburgh (192.23) has an RQS for the first time this season.  Nearly two points behind is Rutgers (190.35), but that team is in turn about three points ahead of Cornell (187.725) and Pennsylvania (187.21).

South Central Region

Seeded teams:

#7 Nebraska
#9 Oklahoma
#12 Arkansas
#17 Arizona

Unseeded teams currently in position to qualify to Regionals:

#19 Missouri
#23 Illinois-Champaign
#37 Southeast Missouri

Next in line:

#42 Illinois-Chicago
#45 Northern Illinois (unofficial – Troester missing most recent score at time of rankings)

Notably missing due to lack of RQS: Arizona State, which has competed only five times thus far and only has a total of ten meets scheduled this season, including Pac-10 Championships. Based on the average, ASU would be just outside the top eighteen.

In the South Central Region, Missouri (194.36) dropped out of the top eighteen this week, pushing Illinois-Chicago out of position to make Regionals.  This is just the first example of movement, for better and for worse, this volatile region is likely to see between now and April.  Missouri is less than a tenth from the top eighteen, and Illinois-Champaign (194.04) is just under four tenths away.  Arizona State could easily mix things up when it has an RQS, beginning next week.

Southeast Missouri (192.375) has a full point lead over Illinois-Chicago (191.3), but the latter has a very wide range of scores, including two 195s and two 189s.  By comparison, Southeast Missouri’s season high is 193.7, and its lowest counting score is 190.85.  

Southeast Region

Seeded teams:

#1 Florida
#2 Georgia

Unseeded teams currently in position to qualify to Regionals:

#21 West Virginia
#22 North Carolina State
#29 North Carolina

Next in line:

#33 Maryland
#43 George Washington

In the relatively less volatile Southeast Region, West Virginia (194.07), North Carolina State (194.055), and North Carolina (193.39) continue to occupy the unseeded positions.  All of these teams had very good weeks, replacing scores two or more points lower than their most recent scores. Maryland (192.825), too, made an impressive improvement, replacing a 189 with a 194.  There is still a race between Maryland and North Carolina, but North Carolina has a decided advantage.

West Region

Seeded teams:

#3 Stanford
#11 Oregon State

Unseeded teams currently in position to qualify to Regionals:

#32 Washington
#36 San Jose State
#38 Sacramento State

Next in line:

#41 Boise State
#45 Cal State-Fullerton

Notably missing due to lack of RQS: California, which appears to be scoring similarly to Cal State-Fullerton thus far.

In the West Region this week, Oregon State appears to have solidified its position in the top eighteen.  Meanwhile, Washington (192.885) is looking solid in unseeded position after having missed out on Regionals last year.  Half a point ahead of San Jose State (192.39), each of those two schools has a particularly low score (a 188 for Washington; a 189 for SJSU) to drop in the coming weeks.  In contrast, Sacramento State (192.34) has a relatively tight range of counting scores and may find it difficult to make large improvements from week to week.  Boise State (191.555) is further behind in RQS than the three spots in the rankings would suggest.



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