Sunday, March 18, 2012

Boise State Gymnasts Edge Out Auburn for 14th

Looking at the Teams Ahead of the Boise State Gymnasts

As hinted at in the article earlier today, the Boise State gymnastics team will have to have a superior effort in their regular season finale against BYU to move into the Top 12 in the NCAA National women's gymnastics rankings.

After this weekend, here are the Regional Qualifying Scores for the teams ranked #11-#16:

11.  Stanford (196.315)
12.  Penn State (196.230)
13.  Ohio State (196.080)
14.  Boise State (195.990)
15.  Auburn (195.965) 

16.  Missouri (195.825)

The Broncos' road scores that count in their RQS have actually been pretty good.  Boise State has scored 196.850, 196.025 and 195.750 this season.  But they have only scored above 196 at home twice this season, a 196.175 and a 196.125.  The score Boise State needs to get off of their record is the 195.875 they scored against California.  They'll have that opportunity against BYU Friday night.

I have looked at Boise State's RQS, and these are the scores they need against BYU to catch the teams ahead of them (of course, those teams will likely also improve.)

Boise State needs:
196.325 to catch Ohio State
197.075 to catch Penn State
197.500 to catch Stanford

The Broncos need to catch at least three of those teams to finish the season in the Top 12.  After the finale in Taco Bell Arena, Boise State will compete in the Regionals April 7 at a site to be determined.  But as was more than obvious last year, if they haven't already reached the Top 12 by then, the judges are not going to give them the scores necessary to catch one of the established favorites.

Boise State May Have Waited Too Long To Get 196's

The Boise State gymnastics team performed about as well as it can, racking up the fifth-highest team score in school history in a road win at Southern Utah.  While that score will help the Broncos' RQS (Regional Qualifying Score), it might be too little, too late.

That is because the five teams surrounding Boise State in the national rankings, Auburn, Missouri, Ohio State, Penn State and Stanford, all did well this weekend.  Of those, only Auburn scored less than 196.  Ohio State posted a 196.700, Penn State was right behind with a 196.500, Stanford scored 196.475, Missouri scored 196.100 and Auburn was at 195.950.

I'll look into the effects on the RQS for the above-mentioned teams and post on this site.  And for those who say RQS doesn't matter in the Regionals, that all you have to do is get one of the top two scores at Regionals to qualify for the Nationals, I will just refer you to last year.  It doesn't work that way.  By that time, the judges know who the best teams are, and unless you're already a Top 12 team, you're not going to get there, no matter how you do.  The Broncos outperformed #1-ranked Florida last year only to lose out by hundreds of a point.

Boise State Should Move Up to Top 70 in Learfield Cup Standings

So far, the school year has been disappointing for the Boise State athletic program, with just one conference championship (women's swimming).  In the Learfield Cup Standings, which attempt to rank colleges and universities on the best overall athletic program, Boise State's only points since September have been in football.

The Broncos picked up 73.50 points in football with their sixth place finish in January.  Since then, Boise State has not scored any points.  The Learfield Cup awards points in an inverted manner based on a school's finish in each sport sanctioned by the NCAA.  The National Champion in each sport gets 100 points, and most teams that finish in the Top 25 get points in their sport, with some sports (such as track and field, swimming and wrestling) awarding Learfield Cup points to any school that scores points in a NCAA championship.

The drought is now over, thanks to the Bronco swimmers, wrestlers and women's track and field team.  The Boise State swimming team finished 47th at this weekend's NCAA Championships and are estimated to receive about 19 points.  The Bronco women's track team was 48th at the recent NCAA Indoor Championships in Nampa, earning approximately 23 points while the Boise State men's wrestling team was 51st at this weekend's NCAA Championships in St. Louis, and should receive about 23 Cup points.  Last year, the Bronco swimmers were 39th, getting 28 points, and the Boise State wrestlers were ninth in the nation, and were awarded 69 Cup points.

This should give Boise State approximately 138.5 Learfield Cup points when the next Learfield Cup Standings are published next Thursday.  The Broncos will be virtually tied with Utah, the school recently chosen for expansion in the Pac-12, as well as Northern Illinois, New Hampshire, Villanova and Toledo.  Even in a year in which the Broncos are not at their best, Boise State is ahead of Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, Kansas, Washington State, Mississippi State and Oregon State and within range of Rutgers, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Clemson and Villanova.  You will find the estimated Cup totals for schools from #60-100 at the bottom of this article.

 Boise State ranked 58th after the final Winter Cup Standings were published last year and finished 83rd in the Final Standings.  Boise State's best finish in the Learfield Cup was in the 2008-09 school year, when the Broncos finished 49th.

With the final winter sports wrapping up (basketball and gymnastics) and the spring sports left after that, Boise State will score big in women's gymnastics, where the Broncos are currently ranked 15th, and has a chance to score points in men's tennis, men's and women's outdoor track & field and softball.

Estimated Standings--#60 through #100:

60.   Kentucky (159)
61.   Wake Forest (158)
62.   Clemson (157)
63.   SMU (155)
64.   Tulsa (149)
65.   Cincinnati (140)
65.   Lehigh (140) 
65.   Montana State (140)
68.   Rutgers (139)
69.   Boise State (138.5) 

70.   New Hampshire (138)
71.   Toledo (137)
72.   Villanova (136)
73.   Northern Illinois (135)
73.   Utah (135)
75.   Pittsburgh (130)
76.   Stoneybrook (123)
77.   James Madison (117)
78.   Harvard (116)
78.   Portland (116)
80.   Kansas (115)
81.   San Diego (114)
82.   Dartmouth (113)
83.   Ohio (110)
84.   Montana (108)
85.   Southern Illinois (105)
86.   Appalachian State (103)
87.   Delaware (100)
87.   Marquette (100)
87.   Vermont (100)
90.   Long Beach State (98)
90.   Pepperdine (98)
92.   Vanderbilt (97)
92.   Washington State (97)
94.   UC-Santa Barbara (96)
95.   Mississippi State (95)
96.   Air Force (90)
96.   UNC-Charlotte (90)
96.   Sam Houston (90)
99.   Oregon State (85)
100. Georgia Southern (83)  

Broncos Swimmers Finish Fourth at NCAA's Among Mountain West Teams

The Boise State women won the Mountain West Swimming Championship in dramatic style, but that did not translate into success at the NCAA National Championships.  The Broncos finished 47th with two team points.

Wyoming was the top Mountain West school in 37th place, while UNLV finished 43rd and San Diego State 45th.

Bronco Swimmers Take 47th Place

The shutout in freestyle events at the 2012 Swimming & Diving Championships resulted in a lower finish for Boise State this year.  The Bronco swimmers tallied two team points this year for a finish of 47th place.

That should give Boise State approximately 20 points in the Learfield Cup.

Boise State Wrestlers Finish 51st in the Nation

Coach Greg Randall's Boise State wrestlers finished 51st at the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Missouri with 3.5 points.

That will earn Boise State approximately 23 points in the Learfield Cup.