Is it still October? OK, cool. A few folks have sent messages asking: “where in the heya are this month’s power rankings?” Here they are! Apologies for putting this together a little late, but as a measure of where everyone’s at, maybe it’s timely to publish this around the banzuke announcement. Of course, as stables don’t compete against one another, this is more of a fun exercise anyway.
I’ve made a couple changes this time from the original calculations. Owing to the craziness that was “Wacky Aki,” it didn’t really make sense to award a kyujo rikishi the same amount of points as one who battled all 15 days, only to fall to a 7-8 make-koshi. So, for the first time, I’ve introduced points deductions, only for kyujo rikishi:
- 10 points deducted for makuuchi rikishi who is kyujo the entire basho
- 5 points deducted for makuuchi rikishi who is kyujo for part of the basho
- 1 point deducted for juryo rikshi who is kyujo for any or all of the basho
- 0 points deducted for rikishi in either division who is kyujo but still manages a kachi-koshi (this did not happen at Aki, but it’s a good rule to set going forward as fighting through an injury to achieve a winning record should still be recognised with the full amount of points)
Finally, Andy had asked a cool question after a previous iteration of these rankings: what if we could also measure by ichimon – the network of stables to which each heya is affiliated? I’ve now included a chart of that as well – it could be interesting to watch over time. Changes in the strength of a stable can take years to materialise in many cases, so I would imagine it will take several years to see shifts in the strength of groups of them.
I’ve added in Naruto-beya here (formed in April this year by former Ozeki Kotoōshū), which isn’t of consequence yet but perhaps someday soon it will be. Let’s jump into the “Billboard” style Top 20 chart form (ties broken by previous ranking with the most recently better heya ranked higher):
- (+1) Isegahama. 147 points (+52)
- (+4) Sakaigawa. 67 points (+20)
- (+4) Kokonoe. 56 points (+13)
- (+-) Tagonoura. 55 points (-20)
- (+5) Oguruma. 48 points (+16)
- (-5) Miyagino. 40 points (-67)
- (+8) Takanohana. 38 points (+20)
- (-3) Oitekaze. 36 points (-12)
- (-6) Kasugano. 30 points (-48)
- (-2) Izutsu. 30 points (-10)
- (-2) Dewanoumi. 25 points (-10)
- (+7) Onomatsu. 25 points (+12)
- (-1) Sadogatake. 24 points (+2)
- (**) Shikoroyama. 23 points (+17)
- (+1) Hakkaku. 20 points (+2)
- (**) Takasago. 20 points (+15)
- (-6) Kise. 15 points (-10)
- (**) Tomozuna. 17 points (+5)
- (-5) Kataonami. 15 points (-5)
- (-3) Tokitsukaze. 15 points (even)
As opposed to August’s chart which was fairly placid, the combination of a bizarre basho along with some new rules has created all manner of changes and lots of movers.
Isegahama returns to the top spot, because when you have a champion Yokozuna, everything is wonderful. Harumafuji’s title more than makes up for Terunofuji’s injury-inspired absence, but while that’s the main driver, the stable’s four other sekitori all scored more points than in the last basho as well. Sakaigawa vaults up to #2 fuelled by a Goeido jun-yusho, in spite of Sadanoumi’s kyujo start.
Kokonoe makes up the final spot in the top 3, owing to a solid basho in which all of their six rikishi matched or improved their standing from the previous rankings. Oguruma places in the top 5 owing to the continued resurgence and special prize of Yoshikaze along with a debut point for Yago, while Takanohana-beya benefits from continued good performance from the potential starting to emerge in Takakeisho and a rebound from Takanoiwa.
Three stables took a particularly significant tumble this time, all owing to missing stars:
Miyagino lost a truckload of points owing to its yusho-holding Yokozuna missing the entire party, while Ishiura continued to struggle. Reinforcements may soon be on the way as we have covered in some detail, but a present Hakuho is a dangerous Hakuho and this may be a one-basho blip for their chart position, while Ishiura may well benefit from diminished competition and be able to challenge for a Juryo yusho like many before him who have made the drop.
Tagonoura’s drop is simply down to the absence of its only sekitori for all (Kisenosato) and most (Takayasu) of the tournament. It is more difficult to forecast a rebound here, not knowing if either will really be able to withstand the full tournament in Fukuoka. And finally, Kasugano takes a huge drop, owing to its Nagoya jun-yusho winning slap-happy Bulgarian missing half the tournament. Tochinoshin’s make-koshi didn’t help matters.
Chiganoura-beya will post points next time for the first time, as Takanosho (formerly Masunosho) makes his Juryo debut. He’s only their second ever sekitori since reforming 13 years ago. And Takagenji’s return to Juryo may help Takanohana move further yet up the ranks should their other rikishi be able to maintain their recent encouraging performance.
Finally, while a number of other heya have numerous immediate promotion candidates, the longer term outlook for Miyagino-beya is starting to get interesting. While the focus is on Ishiura putting it together and Hakuho staying healthy, Enho and Hokaho could put themselves into promotion contention early in 2018. We’ve talked breathlessly about the former, but the latter has quietly racked up 5 straight kachi-koshi. While his track record and somewhat advanced age makes it unlikely he would ever make a serious or sustained dent in the second tier, the presence of 5 rikishi headlined by a constant yusho-challenger could give Miyagino depth similar to their ichimon-mates at Isegahama.
Speaking of which… here are those ichimon totals:
While I’m comparing these to the previous basho, I may start to show a longer term view when we revisit the rankings in December.