2024 Strength of Schedule

Welcome to our Gymnastics Message Board

Members see FEWER ads... so join today

RedBirdie

Staff member
Defender
I posted in another thread that Florida's schedule seemed weak compared to the other top teams and I finally got around to actually comparing things. This is a work in progress, and any errors are my own.

I assigned teams points based on where they finished last year. Top 10 teams are worth 11 points, 11-20 10 points, and so on. Then I averaged the points to come up with strength of schedule. It's a bit crude. It doesn't take into account home vs. away, quad vs. dual, podium, vs non-podium, 2 meets in 3 days, etc. Strictly on where a team's opponents finished last season, mostly because I'm entering all this by hand and had to make it easy for myself.

Anyways, Florida does indeed have the weakest schedule of the top 10 teams (from last season, looking at this season's schedule), and it's not particularly close. I'll be working on adding strength of schedule for teams 11-20 next. Enjoy.

Strength of Schedule Comparison
 
I posted in another thread that Florida's schedule seemed weak compared to the other top teams and I finally got around to actually comparing things. This is a work in progress, and any errors are my own.

I assigned teams points based on where they finished last year. Top 10 teams are worth 11 points, 11-20 10 points, and so on. Then I averaged the points to come up with strength of schedule. It's a bit crude. It doesn't take into account home vs. away, quad vs. dual, podium, vs non-podium, 2 meets in 3 days, etc. Strictly on where a team's opponents finished last season, mostly because I'm entering all this by hand and had to make it easy for myself.

Anyways, Florida does indeed have the weakest schedule of the top 10 teams (from last season, looking at this season's schedule), and it's not particularly close. I'll be working on adding strength of schedule for teams 11-20 next. Enjoy.

Strength of Schedule Comparison
Eeep, access denied, I need to request access?
 
Not really sure the point of this exercise? Some kind of rag on Florida? I mean first, we all know gymnastics is not team vs team sport. Even in the postseason, there is nothing that "Georgia" could do to prevent "Oklahoma" from scoring better or worse. Second, if I would indulge in some type of strength of schedule exercise, I would advocate evaluating conference schedules or dual meets, since the dual meets are generally Home/Away venues that do have some impact on individual/team performance and more in line with your team v team premise. In that regard, Florida has one of the hardest schedules, like all teams in the SEC (wait until next year when OU joins). And really the biggest factor pulling their average in your measuring scale, is the fact that they went out of their way to support programs like Fisk and Talladega. Finally, I would also say competing against "lessor" competition hurts them more from the opportunity to score higher which typically happens in the hyped meets (see Florida at Auburn 2 years ago) than some perceived "toughening" from harder competition.
Side note, interesting that OU does not have a meet with Iowa State in its last year in the Big 12 other than the conference championship.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Moderator
  • #5
Because I was bored and curious, and some other people said they'd be interested to know, too.

As I said, it's crude. I'm doing this by hand. If someone is better with spreadsheets or some other programming and can have things auto populate and weigh home vs away and all that, go for it. I'm just kicking off the conversation.
 
I wonder how much the collegiate quads played a role or conference realignments.
Oklahoma did the Super 16 and the Sprouts then had another quad, which I think UCLA attended al 3 of those as well.
Then they have conference opponents, so I wonder if some of the top teams like Utah, UCLA, OU ran out of dates that could align with Florida?
Just a thought, scheduling can be a nightmare.

Florida did the quad with Fisk and Talladega bc if IIRC they are "mentoring" those teams. Didn't Florida give equipment and leotards, etc to Fisk last year?
 
@RedBirdie, instead of grouping the teams on a ten point scale, you could just give them literal ranking numbers, it would give a more nuanced effect. Then just take the inverse. Like if a team is ranked number 5 in preseason, any team that opposes them gets 5 points. Lowest score wins.

I agree with the limitations of the implications of such a ranking system, but I'm not gonna lie like I'm not interested
 
I'm also gonna say, now that we live in Florida, I literally said "what the hell????" When I saw Florida's schedule. I'm gonna try to get to the Alabama and LSU meets, otherwise, just not worth the drive with the kids.
 
Not really sure the point of this exercise? Some kind of rag on Florida? I mean first, we all know gymnastics is not team vs team sport. Even in the postseason, there is nothing that "Georgia" could do to prevent "Oklahoma" from scoring better or worse. Second, if I would indulge in some type of strength of schedule exercise, I would advocate evaluating conference schedules or dual meets, since the dual meets are generally Home/Away venues that do have some impact on individual/team performance and more in line with your team v team premise. In that regard, Florida has one of the hardest schedules, like all teams in the SEC (wait until next year when OU joins). And really the biggest factor pulling their average in your measuring scale, is the fact that they went out of their way to support programs like Fisk and Talladega. Finally, I would also say competing against "lessor" competition hurts them more from the opportunity to score higher which typically happens in the hyped meets (see Florida at Auburn 2 years ago) than some perceived "toughening" from harder competition.
Side note, interesting that OU does not have a meet with Iowa State in its last year in the Big 12 other than the conference championship.
Looking at different approaches to scheduling and how they prepare themselves for post season is not ragging on Florida. It's just interesting to see how different their approach to is to the other top teams.

Also, the notion that it's harder to score high when competing against a lower ranked team isn't entirely accurate. In a lot of cases, scores are higher in those meets as the gap between quality of routines can be bigger. If the judges don't start of low enough with their scores, the better executed routines become more inflated as they create a gap in the scores.
 
Looking at different approaches to scheduling and how they prepare themselves for post season is not ragging on Florida. It's just interesting to see how different their approach to is to the other top teams.

Also, the notion that it's harder to score high when competing against a lower ranked team isn't entirely accurate. In a lot of cases, scores are higher in those meets as the gap between quality of routines can be bigger. If the judges don't start of low enough with their scores, the better executed routines become more inflated as they create a gap in the scores.
I think drawing a single point from a long series of data points and inferring or implying that Florida always schedules weak is a bit of a rag. I think anyone can look at their schedule this year and see all their non-conference meets are with lower programs. But in fairness, I was exaggerating to emphasize that while it makes for interesting discussion amongst fans, ultimately there is no such thing as team v team in gymnastics.

Much like my statement, yours is a hypothesis. That would be another interesting data analysis. Not sure how you could validate that, but show me where teams score higher in dual meets versus weaker teams or vice versa. Show me the "lot of cases" where this happens. I do know much of the griping on the internet occurs when two highly ranked teams compete in the same meet and judges scoring is inflated, or at least that seems to be the common complaint (especially against SEC schools).
 
You call it a “rag”, others might call it a clever, interesting strategy. For the top NCAA teams, it is all about strategy. Especially for Florida this year, so many freshmen. It’s not necessarily a bad decision to ease them in a little more gently

Routine composition: strategy
Line up order: strategy
Competition schedule: strategy

There is an argument that Oklahoma plays it safe with routine composition. What’s wrong if Florida play it safe with meet schedules?
 
The SEC is distinct from other conferences - leadership in the conference sets each teams conference dual meets for the season, not the coaches. As I understand it SEC coaches only have influence over their non conference meets. DD discussed this with KJ in an interview at the end OKs session of the mean girls meet. KJ noted it was going to be a big change to not have control over their schedule.
 
You call it a “rag”, others might call it a clever, interesting strategy. For the top NCAA teams, it is all about strategy. Especially for Florida this year, so many freshmen. It’s not necessarily a bad decision to ease them in a little more gently

Routine composition: strategy
Line up order: strategy
Competition schedule: strategy

There is an argument that Oklahoma plays it safe with routine composition. What’s wrong if Florida play it safe with meet schedules?
I guess this is the discussion intended with doing something like strength of schedule. And it is interesting. Do folks really believe that having a gym meet against Fisk is any different than having a gym meet against Oklahoma? I can buy the nerves/pressure argument that can play a factor in an individual's performance. But I only put marginal weight into that. Many of these girls are ex-elites and even the L10's by this age are used to pressure in competition. Again, there is nothing that Florida can do to prevent Fisk from performing their routines better or worse and vice versa. It makes it entertaining for us as fans to see 2-4 squads compete, and naming a winner, but the score they get is their own, independent of Fisk, OU or any other team. Jenny is going to work on all those strategies regardless of the competition.
 
I guess this is the discussion intended with doing something like strength of schedule. And it is interesting. Do folks really believe that having a gym meet against Fisk is any different than having a gym meet against Oklahoma? I can buy the nerves/pressure argument that can play a factor in an individual's performance. But I only put marginal weight into that. Many of these girls are ex-elites and even the L10's by this age are used to pressure in competition. Again, there is nothing that Florida can do to prevent Fisk from performing their routines better or worse and vice versa. It makes it entertaining for us as fans to see 2-4 squads compete, and naming a winner, but the score they get is their own, independent of Fisk, OU or any other team. Jenny is going to work on all those strategies regardless of the competition.
Yes. Competing against Fisk is completely different to competing against Oklahoma. It does not matter how many ex elites you have, how many experienced gymnasts you have. The approach and preparation for the meet is completely different. The outcomes and purpose of the meet is completely different.

The same principle applies to an elite dual meet. Do you think for example that GB having a dual meet with the US is the same as GB having a dual meet with Ireland?
 
Last edited:
In what way do you see it as being different? How is the purpose different? If you want to get a gymnast experience, you let them on an apparatus when it is before a judge, right? In the same manner, if you are competing against Fisk or OU the goal, if you are any coach, is to get the highest score possible for post-season seeding. And part of that is playing with line-ups to see the best combination, but, in my opinion, I don't think coaches care about what team is at said meet, versus just trying a line-up. And I ask sincerely, I just don't see it being different.
 
I’m of a mixed opinion on the strength of schedule debate. It’s true that in college gymnastics you are competing more for a score and wins and losses don’t matter in the regular season, but the regular season meets are also preparation for the post-season. You can’t tell me that a team won’t get more pumped up or nervous for a meet against a top ten team than they would against Fisk. At the end of the day they do still want to win the meet because no one wants to lose, and that comes with added pressure like they would experience in the post-season.

I thought it was a little odd Florida was MIA from both of the big Vegas/Utah meets to open the season just because you’d think they would want experience on a podium. I don’t know if any of their meets are on podium- maybe that Missouri meet?- but you’d think Rowland would want to get the freshmen up there. It’s also possible she thinks a SEC schedule is enough of a test so there’s no point in scheduling stronger teams out of conference. Florida’s schedule is definitely on the softer side though.
 

Welcome to our Gymnastics Message Board

Members see FEWER ads... so join today

Back