Every week we release a "Power Rankings" which aim to provide a fluid picture of how each team across the NCAA is doing at the moment. The idea is to try not to focus too much on scores and more on the current state of the team. The + or - next to a team's name represents how much they moved up (+) or down (-) since the previous week's PR.
1. Oklahoma Sooners (-)
Remember when we weren't sure whether OU was the best team in the country? Good times. The Sooners entered the break coming off two consecutive 418+ performances and rank top-three as a team on every event except for floor.
Next Meet: Home vs. Navy on February 24th
2. Stanford Cardinal (-)
A 403.6 normally would be cause for some slippage, but they did so with just one event their big three of Robert Neff, Grant Breckenridge and Andrew Bitner. It will be fun to see what the Cardinal can do with a full lineup in a five-up, five-count scenario.
Next Meet: Home vs. Michigan, Illinois & California on March 3rd
3. Minnesota Golden Gophers (+1)
Third is 100% the toughest spot to figure out in this week's Power Rankings. For now we'll go with Minnesota as they feel like one of the most well-rounded teams out of the tightly-packed Big Ten. Taking down Illinois at home was big and freshman Shane Wiskus may be the key ingredient to kick this program into the top-tier.
Next Meet: @Penn State on February 24th
4. Ohio State Buckeyes (+2)
Despite the home loss to Penn State (where they were without Sean Melton), the Buckeyes move up a couple spots. It really says a lot about the competitiveness and unpredictability of the NCAA this year that I'm ranking a winless team fourth. A lot of it rides on the fact that both Melton and Alec Yoder are in top shape and OSU is getting healthier. We should learn a lot about this team when they take on Nebraska for a third time.
Next Meet: Home vs. Nebraska & Air Force on March 3rd
5. Penn State Nittany Lions (+2)
The Nittany Lions are very deserving of the two-spot jump after upsetting Ohio State on the road in week five. Randy Jepson described this team as one without a major superstar (although Sam Zakutney could argue otherwise) but they seem to be doing just fine without one.
Next Meet: Home vs. Minnesota on February 24th
6. Nebraska Cornhuskers (-1)
A 409.35 at home was a nice bounce back for the Huskers from a somewhat disappointing trip to Oklahoma. High bar (11th - NCAA) is the achilles heel but god knows they can help themselves with their talent on vault (1st - NCAA) and floor (3rd - NCAA).
Next Meet: @Iowa on February 23rd
7. Illinois Fighting Illini (-4)
Illinois (similar to Michigan who is coming next) is a better team than their ranking suggests. It's been an up-and-down year so far for the Illini as they wait on some of their big guns like Bobby Baker & Chandler Eggleston to get healthy. Weirdly enough, for the Illini and many others actually, the switch to a five-up, five-count format should be beneficial.
Next Meet: Home vs. Michigan on February 24th
8. Michigan Wolverines (-)
Michigan didn't compete in week five and didn't move in the rankings.
Next Meet: @Illinois on February 24th
9. Navy Midshipmen (-)
In week five, Navy suffered their first loss since the West Point Open. At the halfway point the Mids rank top-ten nationally on every event, including being top-six on both high bar and vault. They get the honor of heading into Norman next.
Next Meet: @Oklahoma on February 24th
10. Iowa Hawkeyes (-)
Going into Oklahoma and getting a season-best team score (402.85) is a good sign for Iowa. Freshman Bennet Huang hasn't missed an all-around for the Hawkeyes yet this year AND is continuing that trend at Winter Cup.
Next Meet: Home vs. Nebraska on February 23rd
11. Air Force Falcons (-)
Air Force pulled off a bit of an upset at the All-Academy Championships by taking down Navy. It was their top score of the season by over three points. Freshman Frankie Valentin keeps getting better and is so far the team's MVP according to roadtonationals.com.
Next Meet: @Ohio State (Arnold Challenge) vs. OSU & Nebraska on February 3rd
12. California Golden Bears (-)
We've only gotten to see three meets from Cal, but they've seems they've settled consistently into the 390 range. If they can shore up pommel horse (15th - NCAA) they should be able to reach the 400-mark soon.
Next Meet: @Stanford vs. STAN, Michigan & Illinois on March 3rd
13. Army Black Knights (+2)
Things are looking up for Army after they posted three season-high event scores last weekend at the All-Academy Championships. Cole Casanova healthy and doing all-around does a lot for the Black Knights.
Next Meet: Home vs. William & Mary and Springfield on February 24th
14. Arizona State Sun Devils (-1)
Difficulties on rings and high bar took the Sun Devils out of contention against Cal last weekend. It is worthwhile to point out that ASU was without their second-best all-arounder, Nikita Latman as he competed with ASU's other team against SC & NorCal United.
Next Meet: Home (Sun Devil Classic) vs. Washington, SC United & NorCal United on February 24th
15. William & Mary Tribe (-1)
William & Mary didn't compete in week five but moved down one spot.
Next Meet: @Army vs. Army & Springfield on February 24th
16. Springfield Pride (-)
Springfield didn't compete in week five and didn't move in the rankings.
Next Meet: @Army vs. Army and William & Mary on February 24th
17. UIC Flames (+1)
UIC squeaks by Washington this week after their season-high 372.25. All-arounder Satchel Hudson has made strides in each of the three meets, highlighted by his 74.0 in Lincoln.
Next Meet: @Springfield vs. Springfield & Temple on February 18th
18. Washington Huskies (-1)
Washington's 369.8 in week five leaves them hovering right around the 370 mark now consistently through their first three meets. Benjamin Bloom has stepped up as their go-to all-around competitor.
Next Meet: @Arizona State (Sun Devil Classic) vs. ASU, SC United and NorCal United on February 24th
19. SC United (-)
SC United spent week five breaking the 350 mark up in Northern California. William Pearce was their top AA'er with a 72.25.
Next Meet: @Arizona State (Sun Devil Classic) vs. ASU, NorCal United & Washington on February 24th
20. Temple Owls (-)
Temple didn't compete in week five and didn't move in the rankings.
Next Meet: Home vs. N/A on March 3rd