Crimson Tide gymnasts ranked No. 3 in preseason coaches poll (FREE)

By Stan J. Griffin: December 13, 2016

Photo by Stan J. Griffin

One of the main mantras for the tradition-rich University of Alabama gymnastics program states that, "Tradition Never Graduates."
Another element that never seems to be missing from the Crimson Tide program is a high expectation level, as it can usually be counted on that Alabama will be very much in contention for both the Southeastern Conference championship as well as the national title.
This upcoming season appears to be no different.
Dana Duckworth's Tide team, which opens the 2017 season on Friday, Jan. 6 at Oklahoma, is ranked No. 3  in the preseason coaches' poll.
“This shows that we are once again considered a contender for the national championship,” Duckworth said. “That’s our goal every year – to be on the floor of the national championships on the last night of the season, with a chance to win.”
Alabama is the only program to finish in the top four nationally each of the last eight seasons, including back-to-back NCAA championships in 2011 and 2012 and a third-place finish in 2016.
The top-three teams mirror last year’s NCAA Championship finish, with Oklahoma coming in as the preseason No. 1 for the second year in a row, while 2016 NCAA runner-up LSU is preseason No. 2 and Alabama is No. 3.
The preseason poll also mirrors Alabama’s first two meets of the 2017 season. The Tide opens at No. 1 Oklahoma on Jan. 6 and then opens its home season against No. 2 LSU on Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

“There’s no doubt we have one of the toughest schedules in the nation this season, especially starting out with No. 1 and No. 2,” Duckworth said. “We’ll definitely need our fans out in force both at home and on the road. Their support means everything to our ladies, especially when LSU, Florida and Auburn come to Tuscaloosa for our first three home meets.”
The Crimson Tide will return a host of talented student-athletes, including seniors Katie Bailey, Amanda Jetter and Keely McNeer and juniors Mack Brannan and Nickie Guerrero.
Season tickets are available now through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum and online at
UCLA is slotted at No. 4 and the Florida Gators are at No. 5. Utah is No. 6, followed by Michigan at No. 7, Auburn at No. 8, Georgia at No. 9 and California at No. 10.
The SEC once again has five of its eight teams in the top 10 and all eight are in the top 25, with Arkansas coming in at 17th, Missouri at 19th and Kentucky at 21st.
In addition to facing the seven ranked SEC opponents this season and No. 1 Oklahoma, Alabama will also face No. 15 Boise State in Coleman Coliseum.

Special thanks: Alabama Athletics Communications

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Stan J. Griffin

I am a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where I currently reside and work. I am doing regular sports and feature writing for the Tuscaloosa-based Druid City Living and also am the Alabama beat writer for Crimson Magazine. I am a 1993 graduate of the University of Alabama, where I wrote for The Crimson White. I have an extensive background in newspaper journalism, having served as a sports editor and reporter for the Delta Democrat Times, St. Clair News-Aegis, Andalusia Star-News and the St. Clair County News.

I also have my own sports blog site, The Sports Connection, which I partner on with a friend of mine, and we began this site in November of 2012. I write blog on a variety of sports subject, and have also had guest contributors write their own blogs for the site. I have interviewed prominent sports figures for the site, including Paul Finebaum of the new SEC Network.


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