Utah's gymnastics team knew it would lose its No. 1 ranking after it scored a season low in its 196.05-194.85 win at Michigan on Friday, but the advance knowledge did little to make Utah's bump down the standings any easier to take.
The Utes, who held the No. 1 ranking for three straight weeks, fell to No. 5 in the latest standings, behind Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia and Alabama.
The Utes always expected they would drop next week when the rankings system switched from season average to the regional qualifying score because they haven't earned high road scores this year.
However, Utah coach Greg Marsden found the drop this week a little irritating, particularly since he was still smarting over the strict judging in Friday's win.
He felt the Utes had one of their best bar sets, but Utah scored just 48.85.
The bar scores were low for the Wolverines, too, as they scored just 48.725.
"This is a good lesson that I have to remind myself and the athletes to not get too excited when the scores are high and not get discouraged when they are low," he said. "I just need to look at the films and evaluate and just know what we are trying to do."
Marsden is upset because scores are used to compare teams across the country, not head-to-head wins, and they are used to seed teams in the postseason.
Carole Ide, who assigns judges for college gymnastics, said the National Association of Women's Gymnastics Judges offers 12 to 15 hours of judging seminars and training at its July conference, although the seminars are not mandatory.
Judges aren't tested on the college rule system but can receive examples of college routines and judging to sharpen their skills.
The system has been in place for several years now, but Marsden said he is seeing more inconsistency this year than in previous seasons.
"It is in the hands of the judges to get their house in order," he said. "Nobody expects every meet to be judged exactly the same, but it is really strange in terms of how loose some have gotten."
In the rankings
In addition to losing the No. 1 overall ranking, the Utes were also replaced by Florida at the top of the balance beam rankings. Florida is averaging a 49.239, and Oklahoma is second with a 49.234, followed by Utah with a 49.167. Utah did maintain its No. 1 ranking on the floor, where it is averaging a 49.204.
Freshman Kailah Delaney is ranked No. 10 on the vault (9.896), Kyndal Robarts is ranked No. 9 on the balance beam (9.854) and Corrie Lothrop is No. 10 (9.846). Lothrop is also No. 10 on the floor (9.883).
Around the state
BYU, Utah State and SUU will all tangle in a showdown Saturday at BYU at 1 p.m. BYU beat SUU and Utah State earlier this year. BYU is coming off a 196.275-194.525 loss to Arizona, while the Aggies beat Sacramento State 193.875-193.4. SUU was on a bye.
Top 25 rankings
Team Ave. Pvs.
1. Florida 196.929 2
2. Oklahoma 196.784 3
3. Georgia 196.725 4
3. Alabama 196.725 6
5. Utah 196.721 1
6. UCLA 196.543 7
7. Arkansas 196.50 5
8. Oregon St. 196.383 8
9. Nebraska 196.308 9
10. Penn State 195.982 10
11. Ohio State 195.856 11
12. Stanford 195.725 12
13. LSU 195.575 13
14. Arizona 195.321 15
15. Auburn 195.250 17
16. Boise State 195.225 14
17. Missouri 195.211 16
18. Illinois 195.036 18
19. N.C. St. 194.957 19
20. Denver 194.829 20
21. Michigan 194.700 21
22. Minnesota 194.543 NR
23. West Va. 194.543 22
24. Arizona St. 194.514 25
25. Wash. 194.504 23