Three meets into the season, the gymnastics team finally laid down the hammer. The early season is a good time to work on depth and experience, and just get a feel for what the identity of this year's team is. So we shouldn't have been looking for dominance right out of the gate, as it is a long season and it's about peaking at the right time.
But it's still pretty great to see the team strut their stuff and show exactly what they can do. LSU didn't need a monster performance to beat Missouri, which only managed 192.725 points. It's not like the other Tigers were pushing the team to new heights in order to preserve the undefeated records.
LSU's worst score on any rotation was a 49.200 on vault. When that is your low score, you're going to have a pretty good night. LSU put up season highs in both the beam and the floor, keyed by Lloimincia Hall's 9.975 on the floor (which is practically a bad score for her - perfection or get out, right?).
Jessie Jordan has established herself as a star. She has won the all-around in the first two meets, a pretty neat trick considering that Rheagan Courville is still around. Courville re-established herself as the anchor this week by winning her first all-around of the season, but this should be the sort of fun rivalry which helps the team out immensely.
It's one thing to have one of the best gymnasts in the nation on your team. If you're gunning for a team national title, it helps to have someone who is a real contender for the individual title. But having a second gymnast who is also a contender makes the team that much stronger. Most importantly, Courville and Jordan should keep pushing each other to higher and higher performances as the season progresses. Courville can't show up and just assume she's the favorite to win the all around. She now has to fight just to be the top scorer on her own team.
Three weeks into the season, LSU is ranked #3 in the country, behind the two teams that tied for the national title last season, Florida and Oklahoma. Eventually, LSU is going to have to figure out how to beat those two teams, starting with Oklahoma this weekend in Fort Worth.
The early season went outstanding, but none of that is going to matter if the Tigers can't figure out the best teams in the nation. The Super Six is of course a huge goal, but this team is good enough to win the national title. D.D. Breaux has set the standard and raised the expectations.
Real season starts now. Bring the Sooners on.