BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The SEC Gymnastics schedule is not for the faint of heart, especially the Tigers' current stretch that includes six top ten opponents. The clash of nationally-ranked powers continues Friday as LSU hosts a showdown with Florida.
"It was hard last week not to look past Auburn. But we knew what Auburn was capable and what they are capable of doing and what they almost did," said LSU head coach D-D Breaux.
"I think the teams that we've faced so far have done a good job at pushing us to our full potential," said senior gymnast Jessie Jordan.
The matchup against Florida marks LSU's biggest home meet of the year. The No. 2 Gators (197.325 season average) and No. 3 Tigers (197.321 average) are separated by just four thousandths (0.004) of a point meaning this could very well be a preview of what to expect in the Super Six.
"There's so much parity right now in the country," added Breaux. "There's six teams that I think are excellent teams. And any one of them on any given night could be that great team."
The Tigers are focusing on what they have to do to be the greater team with such a tight competition.
"The difference is definitely going to be in the details. Sticking the landings. Small, minor things. And it's really going to be intense," sophomore gymnast Ashleigh Gnat.
"They don't out-talent us," said Jordan. "They don't out-gymnastics us. It's none of those things. It's just who can hit that day, who can be the tightest, who can be the sharpest, and that's really what we're going to be focusing on."
"We talk to our kids all the time about sharpening the edge of their sabres. Making their swords really sharp," said Breaux.
All of this just part of the process leading to what they hope will be their peak in April.
"I think that without a shadow of a doubt what we are doing to prepare our kids is on par with the other great teams in this country. I think our team is very well prepared," said Breaux.
"It's just another stop for our bus on this journey to a national championship," added Jordan.
LSU could set another attendance record on Friday as Coach Breaux expects a sellout for reserved seating as soon as Tuesday.
The crowd of 7,722 two weeks ago for Georgia ranks third largest in school history, behind Alabama meets the last two seasons. If LSU can top the 8,574 from 2013, it would be a new record.
The way this year's team is hitting on all cylinders and connecting with its fans, it almost brought their coach of 38 years to tears on Monday.
"That pretty exciting for me because I'm the person that stood in the rain to give out tickets at different venues years ago, and it's never stopped. I think this really says a lot for our marketing effort, our promotions effort, our ticket office and the commitment this administration has made to a consistent message and push for success," said Breaux.