Alabama gymnastics is ranked No. 4 in the 2018 preseason coaches’ poll, the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women (NACGC/W) released Monday. That puts the Crimson Tide two spots above where it finished last season. It received 1,584 points but no first-place votes.
Two-time reigning NCAA champion Oklahoma (1,769 points, 33 first-place votes) is at the top of the list, followed by Florida (1,728 points, 10 first-place votes) and LSU (1,692 points and seven first-place votes).
The Crimson Tide’s 2018 schedule features nine preseason Top 25 teams. It hosts No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 10 Kentucky, No. 16 Georgia, No. 17 Missouri and No. 19 Arkansas.
What’s going to be tough for the Crimson Tide is its road schedule. Alabama starts its season at No. 7 Michigan on Jan. 5, but it will also have to compete at No. 2 Florida and No. 3 LSU. The Tigers are the defending SEC champions and closed out last season second in the nation. The Gators were third.
In addition, Alabama will travel for two meets against No. 14 Auburn – the first will be at Auburn and the second will be at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville for the in-state rivals’ annual Elevate the Stage meet.
The only other team Alabama will face during the regular season is No. 36 North Carolina.
SEC championships are March 24. NCAA championships are April 20 and 21. Both will be held at the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis.