Heya Power Rankings: October 2017


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.

chart-8

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. (+1) Isegahama. 147 points (+52)
  2. (+4) Sakaigawa. 67 points (+20)
  3. (+4) Kokonoe. 56 points (+13)
  4. (+-) Tagonoura. 55 points (-20)
  5. (+5) Oguruma. 48 points (+16)
  6. (-5) Miyagino. 40 points (-67)
  7. (+8) Takanohana. 38 points (+20)
  8. (-3) Oitekaze. 36 points (-12)
  9. (-6) Kasugano. 30 points (-48)
  10. (-2) Izutsu. 30 points (-10)
  11. (-2) Dewanoumi. 25 points (-10)
  12. (+7) Onomatsu. 25 points (+12)
  13. (-1) Sadogatake. 24 points (+2)
  14. (**) Shikoroyama. 23 points (+17)
  15. (+1) Hakkaku. 20 points (+2)
  16. (**) Takasago. 20 points (+15)
  17. (-6) Kise. 15 points (-10)
  18. (**) Tomozuna. 17 points (+5)
  19. (-5) Kataonami. 15 points (-5)
  20. (-3) Tokitsukaze. 15 points (even)

Movers

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.

Losers

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.

Up Next

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:

chart-9

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.

7 thoughts on “Heya Power Rankings: October 2017

    • Hopefully worth the wait! Though every time I do this I feel like there are way more details to get into or 10 more things that merit coverage, haha 🙂

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  1. Yes! I’ve been waiting for these.

    Isegahama has quite a powerhouse under his hands. Even if the yokozuna has to go intai (which he will, and rather soon I suspect), they are still going to be at least as solid as Kokonoe.

    In fact I am curious to see Harumafuji’s dohyo-iri this basho. I mentioned this in Twitter a while back: for the first time in a while, he’s going to be spoiled for choices for tachi-mochi and tsuyuharai from his own heya (which is how it should be in the first place). With Terunofuji at sekiwake, he can do tachi-mochi and Takarafuji tsuyuharai. Or Takarafuji tachi-mochi and Aminishiki tsuyuharai. It only comes down to whether these guys’ knees can withstand the long squats. If Homarefuji can get himself promoted further in this basho, than even this question is solved (provided, of course, that Harumafuji will still be in a position to do dohyo-iris. 😥)

    Hakuho, on the other hand, will lose his tachi-mochi and now both his companions will be out of his heya. Really, Miyagino seems to be all about Hakuho. I think Ishiura is considered his uchi-deshi, and Enho certainly is one. So when Hakuho retires, if he actually opens a heya of his own, Miyagino is going to be a pale heya. Like Nishonoseki perhaps, or Kise sans Ura.

    The most I-don’t-believe-this-heya-grew-a-yokozuna is, of course, Izutsu. Only five rikishi, one of whom is a Yokozuna. That’s not enough to make the Yokozuna’s rope every two months. In fact, it’s not enough to support the Yokozuna at all. I ran into a tweet the other day where Kakuryu presented his “team Kakuryu” – the six rikishi in his entourage, with five of them needed only to tie his rope around him. That’s more rikishi than there are in his heya. And in fact, none of them is from his heya. Definitely a one-horse stable.

    Kise suffers badly with Ura’s misfortune. It’s going to leak points for that.

    About Naruto, so far, although Torakio is supposed to be their star, Sumidagawa is matching him rank for rank. At some point I think Torakio’s muscles are going to prevail, though. I won’t be surprised to see him contribute points for that young heya relatively soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh man, lots going on here, so much good stuff.

      Re: Kise – it is true that they are down for the time being, but they seem to constantly have reinforcements on the Makushita frontline. There are just so many guys on the brink that in some ways it really could be the next Kokonoe but for consistency – they have FIFTEEN rikishi at Makushita level and most of them are near the top. The traffic near the top of Makushita is just absolutely bonkers though.

      Re: Kakuryu – I think this is maybe one area where the ichimon ratings could eventually have relevance. Maybe someone else here knows this – who’s he practising with outside of jungyo? I know from time to time Kisenosato will go and visit higher ranking rikishi in other stables within his ichimon for challenges and tuneups.

      Re: Naruto, there’s probably another ranking metric that can be used for stables like these that is somewhat more akin to the rank velocity that lksumo has employed for his banzuke predictions. We can probably use this to determine who is knocking on the door of developing young talent. It’s difficult to write this section or this kind of post in a telling manner though because these are changes we only really seem to see over the span of years (which is kind of cool)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think this is a wonderful point in time representation of the stables, great work.

    I am curious as what it would look like if it was a rolling 6 months, similar to a tennis ranking. Or a yearly points system.

    This way we would know who is having a good Year an not just who had the best previous Basho

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good points! I think that’s going to be the plan going forward, especially for the ichimon look. I will definitely want to have a look at this on a yearly basis although changing the metrics midway through the year means it may be somewhat imperfect for 2017 (I also didn’t do this after Hatsu), and 2018 may be the better year to start measuring annually.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It would be a crap ton of work to go back and redo it. So I think it makes sense to wait till the scoring method is refined a bit for consistency sake. Can’t wait to see how it turns out

        Liked by 1 person

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