Fresh off a sweep of Auburn, the Tide take on the Boise State Broncos at 7:30 tonight in Tuscaloosa. Bama’s season record stands at only 4-4 but the Tide vaulted to the number four slot in this week’s rankings as they head into tonight’s match up with the twelfth-ranked Broncos from a conference that is new to me, the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference.
Again this week I will urge Bama fans who have not watched gymnastics this year to tune in to see the Tide. For those who aren’t in the vicinity, it will be carried on SECNetwork plus:
Rankings Get Serious
Just as NCAA football rankings switch to committee selection rankings ahead of the bowl season and play-offs, this week the gymnastics rankings underwent a transition from an overall average of team meet scores to what’s called the Regional Qualifying Score. This will help determine which teams move on to the regional round and which teams host regionals. The RQS is determined by taking a team’s top three road scores, ( For Bama that’s 196.700 at Oklahoma, 197.225 at Missouri, 197.050 at Kentucky ), its next three highest home or away scores, (197.825 v Florida, 197.100 v LSU, 197.350 v Auburn) dropping the high score, (197.825) and averaging the remaining five, which gives Bama a score of 197.085. Only Oklahoma, LSU, and Florida have a higher RQS. (Don’t worry you will not be tested on this. I just happen to love math.)
Boise, on the other hand, dropped from seventh in the NCAA rankings to twelfth in the RQS. The team score is handicapped because it has only competed in six meets, so take the reduced ranking with a grain of salt. The Broncos are familiar with Coleman Coliseum and the exuberant crowds, and feel confident about the setting as they finished a close third to Alabama and California in the Tuscaloosa regional last season.
What to Look For
Kiana Winston, a junior from Fort Worth, Texas is currently ranked third nationally on floor exercise, sixth on the balance beam and is fifth in the all-around. She had a perfect 10.0 floor exercise against Florida that you may have seen, but just in case you haven’t:
She may end up being the best gymnast to ever come through Tuscaloosa.
Junior Nickie Guerrero is fourth on the beam. And senior Aja Sims, who was held out of competition last week to due a minor injury, is ranked tenth nationally on floor. As a team, Alabama is gaining momentum and is ranked in the top five in all four events. A big night is crucial for confidence as Bama heads to Athens next week to take on Georgia.