It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future

I knew that the Aki banzuke would be harder to predict than Nagoya, and so it proved. I got the big picture right, but missed many of the details, although in my defense, some of the committee decisions are real head-scratchers.

The upper San’yaku went exactly as predicted, with all 7 Yokozuna and Ozeki ranks matching the forecast. No surprise there. Mitakeumi at East Sekiwake was also an easy correct prediction. Slightly more challenging, I correctly forecast Yoshikaze to claim the West Sekiwake slot. Also as predicted, Tamawashi and Tochiozan got the Komusubi slots, though on the opposite sides from my forecast.

Overall, my San’yaku forecast resulted in 9 bulls-eyes and 2 hits in 11 predictions, or 20 out of 22 possible GTB points. The maegashira forecast was much less accurate.

I correctly predicted the members of the joi-jin (aka the meat grinder) at M1e-M4e. The exact ranks here were also right on target, except that I had Aoiyama at M1 and Kotoshogiku at M2, the opposite of the actual banzuke. I know Kotoshogiku deserves a lot of deference for his career achievements, but by my ranking system, Aoiyama was so far ahead of him that I couldn’t justify making that switch.

Further down, I’m only slightly surprised to see Ura at M4w ahead of Shodai and Takakeisho. Indeed, I had this order right in my immediate post-Nagoya forecast, but talked myself out of it. As Bruce also notes, Ura could have used a lighter schedule after Nagoya.

In the lower maegashira ranks, my misses were by one rank and among groups of rikishi with identical computed ranks. These are always pretty arbitrary. One surprise to me is Ishiura ranked below Arawashi, especially as this decision also inexplicably splits and assigns different ranks to Arawashi and Takekaze, who put up identical performances at the same rank at Nagoya. The other surprise is seeing Tokushoryu at M15e. My forecast had him demoted to Juryo in favor of Myogiryu. I would not have been surprised to see him hang on to Makuuchi at M16, but M15 seems ridiculously generous.

Overall, my maegashira forecast resulted in 11 bulls-eyes and 4 hits in in 31 predictions, for a total of 26 out of 62 possible GTB points. Yeah, not great. I’ll take some comfort in the fact that 15 of my 16 misses were by one rank, with the aforementioned Tokushoryu the only exception. So if you wanted to get a good general idea of where your favorite rikishi would be ranked, the forecast served its function. If you wanted to know the exact rank…well, see the title of this post.

One thought on “It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future

  1. My predictions were similar but not as good- again! I had talked myself into believing that Tochinoshin would get to komusubi again, but that’s fan-thinking and my second projection, with slightly more weight applied to most recent performances did put Tochiozan a notch above him. I would love to have been a fly on the wall in the Kasugano stable when the banzuke came out. Actually, given the rumours about the physical condition of the top lads. M1 might be a less arduous rank than usual. Roll on 10 September.

    My only real surprise is Myogiryu, whose 10-5 record at j4 was not enough for promotion. Do we really need Tokushoryu in makuuchi that badly?


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