Alright, they’re not in direct competition this time but I still believe the question from last tournament carries over. This question also ties into Bruce’s previous post because I believe the next Japanese yokozuna is currently a maegashira. Not sure whom, though.
Regardless, last tournament Endo was blasted with both barrels of sanyaku. He survived with a 7-8 record. His kinboshi against Hakuho and very impressive performance against the Ozeki were certainly deserving of special prizes if he’d been able to pick up another win.
On the other hand, Shodai GOT the special prize on the face of his fantastic 11-4 showing. However, his schedule was nowhere near the strength of Endo’s. This makes me want to study a way to implement a strength of schedule handicapping system to see where these guys really stand. I’m giving Endo the edge in this. I hope he has another strong performance and remains among the upper third of the maegashira. At this point, I don’t know if there’s really anyone among the rank-and-file strong enough to take on a sanyaku position for more than a tournament or two.