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2018 CGA Preseason Coaches Poll Defending-Champion Oklahoma Opens On Top

Every year, the College Gymnastics Association releases a preseason rankings poll based on one vote from each program. Despite losing a chunk of talent, the Sooners sit at the top yet again. Here's how the coaches ranked the field:

1. Oklahoma Sooners (371 points; 14 first-place votes)

Despite losing a valuable group of seniors, Oklahoma starts the year off as the odds-on favorite to win a fourth-consecutive national championship. Yul Moldauer, a newly-minted World-Medalist, will lead the charge for the Sooners.

  • 2017 Team High Score: 434.55
  • 2017 Team Finish: 1st (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Yul Moldauer, Levi Anderson, Hunter Justus

2. Stanford Cardinal (352 points; 2 first-place votes)

The Cardinal checks in at No. 2 despite losing a generational talent in Akash Modi. Expect Robert Neff and Grant Breckenridge to play even larger roles for Stanford.

  • 2017 Team High Score: 432.05
  • 2017 Team Finish: 4th (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Robert Neff, Grant Breckenridge, Josiah Eng

3. Ohio State Buckeyes (346 points; 2 first-place votes)

Despite retaining most of a core that earned them a second-place finish at NCAAs in 2017, the Buckeyes come in at No. 3 on these rankings. With Sean Melton returning, there's a good chance they finish top-two yet again in 2018.

  • 2017 Team High Score: 423.7
  • 2017 Team Finish: 2nd (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Sean Melton, Alec Yoder, Seth Delbridge

4. Minnesota Golden Gophers (321 points)

Continually on the up-and-up, Minnesota claims the No. 4 spot in the preseason poll. Similar to OSU, the Gophers will be returning the majority of their team and have added a stud freshman in Shane Wiskus.

  • 2017 Team High Score: 426.95
  • 2017 Team Finish: 5th (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Justin Karstadt, Tristan Duran, Jalon Stephens

5. Illinois Fighting Illini (314 points)

Following their first top-three NCAA finish since 2012, the Illini slide into the fifth spot in these rankings. This is a team that will rely heavily on a solid group of seniors including Bobby Baker and Chandler Eggleston.

  • 2017 Team High Score: 422.9
  • 2017 Team Finish: 3rd (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Bobby Baker, Chandler Eggleston, Alex Diab

6. Nebraska Cornhuskers (274 points)

Nebraska has improved arguably more than any other program over the last 3-4 years. They capped off their 2017 season with a top-six finish at NCAAs and No. 6 is right where they find themselves in this poll.

  • 2017 Team High Score: 425.55
  • 2017 Team Finish: 6th (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Anton Stephenson, Kyle King, Chris Stephenson

7. Penn State Nittany Lions (268 points)

The Nittany Lions will no doubt be eyeing a return to the NCAA Team Finals in 2018 after missing out in 2017. They will return a great group of Sophomores, including national champion (PH) Stephen Nedoroscik.

  • 2017 Team High Score: 420.4
  • 2017 Team Finish: 8th (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Stephen Nedoroscik, Sam Zakutney, Michael Burns

8. Iowa Hawkeyes (245 points)

The Hawkeyes look like another team trending in the right direction with a young group that should only get better. Slated No. 8 in the poll, Iowa will be one of a few teams aiming to crack the Super Six at NCAAs.

  • 2017 Team High Score: 414.65
  • 2017 Team Finish: 7th (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Dylan Ellsworth, Andrew Herrador, Austin Hodges

9. Michigan Wolverines (243 points)

2018 should be a telling year for Michigan given their impressive incoming freshman class. They check in just behind conference-rival, Iowa, at No. 9.

  • 2017 Team High Score: 414.95
  • 2017 Team Finish: 9th (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Anthony McCallum, Dmitri Belanovski, Emyre Cole

10. California Golden Bears (198 points)

Cal enters a new era with J.T. Okada taking over as head coach. He is replacing the newly-appointed USA Gymnastics men’s high performance director, Brett McClure. Okada's team slots in at No. 10.

  • 2017 Team High Score: 410.1
  • 2017 Team Finish: 12th (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Yordan Aleksandrov, Aaron Mah, Michael Rauchwerger

11. Air Force Falcons (191 points)

  • 2017 Team High Score: 409.15
  • 2017 Team Finish: 10th (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Christian Kalustian, Jonah Urlaub, Casey Branin

12. Navy Midshipmen (174 points)

  • 2017 Team High Score: 409.4
  • 2017 Team Finish: 11th (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Noah Beeman, Tanner West, Lucas Beltran

13. William & Mary Tribe (148 points)

  • 2017 Team High Score: 404.7
  • 2017 Team Finish: 13th (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Jacopo Gliozzi, Jack Hasenkopf, Tim O'Neill

14. Army Black Knights (135 points)

  • 2017 Team High Score: 405.85
  • 2017 Team Finish: 14th (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Cole Casanova, Nathan Goff, Seth Cannon

15. Arizona State Sun Devils (107 points)

  • 2017 Team High Score: 397.4
  • 2017 Team Finish: 15th (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Anthony Mills, Nick Garcia, Nikita Latman

16. Springfield Pride (99 points)

  • 2017 Team High Score: 390.55
  • 2017 Team Finish: 16th (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Joshua Dieker, Stephen Lewis, Chris Graff

17. UIC Flames (84 points)

  • 2017 Team High Score: 387.7
  • 2017 Team Finish: 18th (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Satchel Hudson, Basil Szechinski, Tyler Ball

18. Washington Huskies (59 points)

  • 2017 Team High Score: 391.0
  • 2017 Team Finish: 17th (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Nathan Tsuji, Carl Meader, Jacob Jarrett

19. Temple Owls (36 points)

  • 2017 Team High Score: 382.75
  • 2017 Team Finish: 19th (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Joe Luca, Demetris Zambas, Joe Fernandes

20. SC United (25 points)

  • 2017 Team High Score: 350.05
  • 2017 Team Finish: 20th (NCAA)
  • Key Returnees: Nick Horner, Cecilio Garcia, Bryan De Los Santos
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Logan Bradley
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Cover Photo: Jess Frankl

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