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NCAA Gymnastics 2017 Power Rankings Week 2

Week 2 is officially in the books! Which means it's time for my weekly power rankings!

These aren't the official Road to Nationals rankings, rather they are stories and people that have caught my attention throughout the week, whether it be note-worthy events or a reaction to something.

Last week's power rankings were:

1. The Power Freshmen
2. The Judge at the LSU/Georgia meet who had to do everything
3. LSU & Oklahoma - Egregious home scoring or peaking too early?
4. Guys, I think we broke Georgia

Without further adieu, here is this week's power rankings:

# 1 UNC's Support of the LGBTQ community

It's a trying and divisive time in US History. Simply open a newspaper or open up your Facebook feed and you'll see it. There is really no need for me to say any more than that.

To celebrate and embrace diversity, the University of North Carolina gymnastics team has partnered with Nike to support the LGBT community. For their first home meet, where they'll be hosting Florida, the Tar Heels adopted the theme #BETRUE.

They're even putting the rainbow on their leotards as a sign of support:

And on a final note, UNC is freaking awesome enough to allow free admission to this meet.

# 2 Georgia is officially not broken!

Georgia came back this week with flying colors to beat Auburn on their home turf with 196.800, a score much more in line with Georgia's standards.

While their previous meet against LSU couldn't have gone worse, basically a downward sprial until it culminated in the craptastic of all craptastic beam rotations. This meet went relatively smooth and they were again, what you'd expect from Georgia. They didn't have to count any falls and there were no major meltdowns.

Either their paltry 193.600 from last week was enough to take some of the pressure off or head coach Danna Durante gave the team a stern talking to to whip her athletes into shape. Either way, it seemed to work.

# 3 Ashleigh Gnat Get's a 10.00 on Vault

Continuing last week's theme of "we're already in championship form and we're ready to beat you" from last week, LSU continued to dominate over Alabama.

When anchoring vault, Ashleigh Gnat received the first 10.00 of the season for her DTY on vault. Myia Hambrick preceded Gnat in the line-up with a clean FTY of 9.925. Gnat stuck her vault and was higher and father than her teammates in the line-up, she showed excellent control and power.

Ashleigh's been doing this vault week in week out for three going on four years now. She's got this skill down to a tee. So, I may think that maybe it was a little early for the 10.00, often times in elite, I don't see DTY's nearly as nice or as clean.

# 4 No, AJ Jackson does not need to smile more

AJ Jackson of Oklahoma is an amazing athlete, she's got a powerful, amazing floor routine that fits her. During her commentary Kelly Garrison-Funderburke remarked how she wanted to see AJ "get more attitude and smile more" during her floor routine.

Ugggghhh, there is so much wrong with that statement. First of all, this is a sadly common criticism of female athletes or females in the public eye. Women are frequently criticized because of their looks and not because of their talent or ability. To be fair, Kelly is critiquing performance in that statement, but, did AJ need to smile during that routine? Well, no, the music and the attitude of AJ's choreography spoke for itself as well as her badass tumbling. What's the problem with this particular statement? All I need to say to that is, when have you ever heard a commentator say about, let's say Peyton Manning - "Oh that was a great touchdown, but why doesn't he smile more?"

If you want another example of this - find  BBC footage of Ksenia Afanesyeva's World Championship winning 2011 floor routine, you'll hear Christine Still say basically the same thing Kelly Garrison said, except in a very British manner.

Spencer of the Balance Beam Situation summed this up perfectly:


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