The defending NCAA Champions are ranked No. 1 after posting their fourth consecutive 197-plus score of the season defeating Michigan Friday night. Against the Wolverines, in the Tide's home opener and fifth meet of the season, Alabama posted a 197.200, tying its season best mark.
"The rankings are done according to average scoring and we have been very consistent to this point in the season, putting four scores in the 197s," Alabama head coach Sarah Patterson said. "It's a long season, but this shows that we are performing consistently at a high level right now."
While the Tide has been a constant fixture toward the top of the rankings over the last decade, it hasn't been ranked No. 1 during the regular season since February 8, 2000. The Tide was No. 1 during the 2000 season for three weeks. Since the beginning of 2000, a span of 38 weeks, Alabama has been ranked in the top-5 for all but five weeks, and has never been out of the top-10. That run includes 16 weeks at No. 2.
"The rankings are nice, and it shows that we are doing well, but our focus is always on the end of the season," Patterson said. "But I would much rather be 10th right now and have a healthy Ashley Miles. And for us, our goal is to be on the floor the last night of the national championships, with a chance to win it all. The rankings don't really affect that."
Miles' injured her right knee during practice last Wednesday. She is being examined by the Tide's team physicians and a prognosis will be made early this week.
Junior Jeana Rice is the nation's No. 2 ranked all-arounder, just behind UCLA Olympian Jamie Dantzscher. Rice has been ranked second three of the four weeks the rankings have been out and was third the only other week. Senior Kristin Sterner is ranked No. 11 in the all-around while sophomore Shannon Hrozek is No. 18.
Rice is also ranked second on the balance beam with an average of 9.950, which includes a 10.0 at Georgia in the season's second week. She is also ranked No. 5 on the uneven bars and No. 8 on the vault. Sterner is ranked 22nd on the beam
Freshman Ashley Miles is ranked No. 2 on the floor exercise, No. 7 on the vault and No. 25 on the uneven bars.
After one weekend at home, Alabama is back on the road this weekend to face No. 14 Denver Saturday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. MT. It will be the Tide's sixth road meet of the season.
Team Avg Score Region 1 Alabama 196.925 C 2 Nebraska 196.837 SC 3 UCLA 196.808 W 4 Utah 196.775 NC 5 Georgia 196.737 SE 6 Arizona State 196.475 SC 7 Florida 196.437 SE 8 Stanford 195.862 W 9 Oregon State 195.665 W 10 Arizona 195.581 SC 11 Michigan 195.395 NE 12 L.S.U. 195.331 C 13 Washington 195.267 W 14 Denver 195.206 NC 15 Oklahoma 194.850 SC 16 Auburn 194.795 C 17 Penn State 194.669 NE 18 Iowa 194.533 NC 19 Kent State 194.531 C 20 BYU 194.258 NC 21 Iowa State 194.256 NC 22 Missouri 194.037 SC 23 Cent. Michigan 193.912 C 24 Minnesota 193.894 NC 25 Ohio State 193.875 C