Photo via Erin Long

The news is out! The Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association (WCGA) preseason poll has been released, and your Lady Gators have been ranked No. 3 for the 2020 season.

The WCGA poll is different from other sports in that it only takes into account the opinions of coaches in the league. Coaches rank teams 1-36, since that’s how many teams will qualify to the regional championship level. Point values are then assigned to each ranking, with the most points being given to first place, and overall rankings are tabulated by calculating who had the most points across all coaches’ scoresheets. Here are the results:

2020 preseason poll

The top ten on this poll look starkly different from the final rankings from last season, with usual stalwart Alabama and steadily rising California featuring in the top group rather than Kentucky and Oregon State, who both had stellar seasons last year but may not have the staying power to repeat that performance. This is a good thing for the Gators, after a rare miss at the super-regional meet caused them to miss Nationals for the first time in many year. This indicates that the gymnastics community at large sees the potential for them to bounce back, even potentially to win it all – note the two first-place votes.

Take a look at the total points for those top ten teams, too. Two very small gaps appear: just 9 points between Cal and Alabama, and 11 points between Florida and UCLA. This indicates a trend we’ve been talking about in the sport for a long time – parity. More and more teams each year are reaching the level where they could be competitive for berths at nationals, and in the latter case, the national title. The top 17 teams on this poll have all made at least one appearance at nationals, but with last year’s adjustments to the postseason, there’s only room for eight. Whatever the outcome, the gymnastics community seems to believe that Florida will absolutely be a part of that group this year.

Tune in next week when we’ll be live for Orange & Blue, the final intrasquad competition for Gator Gymnastics before the season begins! You can also get your tickets now for the season opener on Jan. 10 in the O-Dome vs. Arkansas. And of course, make sure you follow @ChompTalk on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with all the Gator Athletics action.

Photo by Erin Long

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