There is nothing Utah's gymnastics team loves more than performing in front of its home crowd.
But this week, believe it or not, the Utes are eager to leave their large following behind them and compete on the road.
Granted, the Utes aren't going far, busing up to Utah State for a Friday meet, but the atmosphere won't be the same as competing in front of the almost 13,000 fans the Utes draw at home.
The Utes, who beat Michigan 196.425-195.425 Friday, have competed at home for the last four weeks, which coach Greg Marsden admitted was "too much."
While the gymnasts say the long homestand didn't play a part in their lackluster effort Friday, Marsden believes it might have, with the gymnasts letting down their guard a little.
"It's too much," he said. "It's not good for us and I don't know if it's good for the fans, either. That is what I am going to love about going into a conference next year. Part of the reason we are in this situation is we are at the mercy of other teams' scheduling â¦ We won't be in that situation again."
Utah's only road meets this year were at Georgia and Nebraska, where they scored 195.9 and 196.2 in wins.
The scheduling meant Utah was the team most affected by Monday's switch to the Regional Qualifying Score, which will determine the national rankings for the remainder of the season.
Ranked No. 3 previously, the Utes fell out of the polls because they didn't have the minimum number of three road meets required for the formula. The RQS is determined by taking a team's six best scores, three of which must be road meets, and averaging all of them except the high score, which is not used.
"It's important for us to go to Utah State and get a good road score," Marsden said. "We need that to get a good seed into regionals."
The Utes' remaining road trips are to Oregon State on March 12 and to BYU on March 18.
Florida and Stanford continue to hold the top two spots while Nebraska made the biggest move up, going from No. 10 to No. 7.
Team Season avg. Pvs. rank
1. Florida 197.055 1
2. Stanford 196.585 2
3. Oklahoma 196.250 4
4. Georgia 196.175 5
5. Alabama 196.115 6
6. Oregon St. 195.935 7
7. Nebraska 195.595 10
8. Michigan 195.575 8
9. UCLA 195.355 9
10. Penn State 195.3 18
No. 26 BYU 194.355 28
No. 31 SUU 193.9 27