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Gym Dogs Need Big Road Score at Mizzou

NCAA Gymnastics Championships Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The Gym Dogs lost to Auburn last Friday night. And to be honest, lost handily. Despite a season high on vault, and senior Marissa Oakley winning the event title on beam. To an Auburn team that isn’t as good on paper as Georgia. But that’s why these ladies have to step out on the mats.

Georgia now travels to Missouri, where the Gym Dogs secured a meh win in early January 196.150-194.250. The meet is scheduled for an 8:00 ET start at Hearnes Center in the good Columbia. I see it is to be broadcast on SEC Network +. Whether that is the SEC Network, or SEC+, I have no clue.

Coach Kupets Carter needs to get it together. Because the all important RQS/NQS system goes into place next week. What used to be Regional Qualifying Scores - because, it was based on the old regional system of the post season - is now the National Qualifying Scores. Because, teams will be ranked using the NQS to go to regional competition. These NCAA braintrusts really have it clicking, don’t you think?

Thanks to an ever-evolving model, only 4 scores are counted: your two highest road scores and your two other best scores. No kicking out the top score anymore either. This is just your 4 best, and a minimum of 2 of those have to be in road meets. And Georgia’s NQS is, shall we say, lacking. Road scores of 196.150 versus Auburn (yay, I guess?) and 196.375 against LSU a month ago. The other best scores available are 196.150 (from our first meet of the year, hosting Missouri) and 197.275 in the anomaly meet of the year hosting Bama a couple weeks back.

In prior years, that highest score would be kicked out of consideration. In which case it would be replaced with 196.075 in a loss to Florida. That is basically un-Georgia like. And without doing tedious research, I think that would rank the Georgia Gym Dogs, holders of 10 national titles and 16 SEC Championships, somewhere around 20th in the country. 20th.

Athens is a NCAA Regional site for the 2021 season. That gives Georgia a distinct home advantage. What team wants to come to Athens and potentially be beat by the 20th best team in the nation because of a home crowd and notorious SEC home cookin’ by the judges? It would ruin any season. Screw those other teams though. I’m just mad UGA isn’t in the top 10 and hasn’t topped 196.500 but once.

I’m so glad we beat Alabama. But these ladies need to put on a show this week, and next, to improve that NQS and get positioned for the post-season. Things are abnormal in the world right now, and I need Georgia Gymnastics to not be abnormal too. But as always...