Kyushu Banzuke Forecast Postmortem

As Bruce already noted, the Kyushu banzuke has been posted. I have to say that this time I am proud of my forecast. Despite the difficulties created by the lopsided performances at Aki, I correctly predicted the exact rank and side for 30 of the 42 Makuuchi slots, including all 10 named ranks and 20 of the 32 maegashira ranks, which are much less predictable. Of my 12 misses, 6 resulted from exchanges of rikishi pairs in adjacent banzuke positions: Hokutofuji and Tochiozan at M1w and M2e, Tamawashi and Nishikigi at M2w and M3e, and Kagayaki and Abi at M6w and M7e. Two additional misses were also by half a rank: Yoshikaze at M5e instead of M4w, and Yago at M16w instead of the top rank in Juryo. I also switched Ikioi and Daieisho at M8e and M9w. The other miss, by 3 whole ranks, resulted from the obligatory head-scratcher by the banzuke committee. It seems like every banzuke includes one decision that’s impossible to predict, understand, or defend. This time around, it’s the wildly disparate treatment of Ryuden and Takanoiwa. The two were ranked at M13e and M13w for Aki, and put up identical 10-5 performances that should have resulted in similar banzuke positions. Instead, Ryuden is ranked at M3, as predicted, while Takanoiwa ended up all the way down at M6 and has every reason to feel aggrieved.

Aside from the easy named ranks, my predictions were especially accurate in the lower portion of the banzuke. From M10 down, my only error was demoting Chiyomaru in favor of Yago.

Unfortunately, all my close misses line up in such a way as to earn me exactly zero points in Guess the Banzuke, which awards two points for exact matches, a point for correct rank but wrong side (e.g. 6e vs. 6w), but, frustratingly, no points for other adjacent rank misses (e.g. 6w vs. 7e). Nevertheless, I tied my highest previous point total, achieved exactly a year ago. Apparently, Kyushu for me is what Aki is for Goeido ;-) On to the basho!

20 thoughts on “Kyushu Banzuke Forecast Postmortem

      • I suppose so, but that’s what happens when things like that are left to people. Usually tendencies like that tend to cancel each other out – each interest group pushes in its own direction, and eventually they make a decision based on numbers and precedents, and nobody feels too bad. But this case was different.

    • It’s particularly weird since Ryuden was fortunate to get a fusen win. He picked up two wins against M9 opponents but lost the head-to-head with Takanoiwa and M16 Ishiura/Kotoyuki.

  1. Takanoiwa’s rank might be just outside the joi to prevent match ups against the Yokozuna, I can’t really see any other reason. At 6 he’s unlikely to be matched up against them unless he has an amazing run.

  2. In awe of Iksumo’s predictive powers. I was nowhere near. It’s probably no bad thing for Takanoiwa to be at M6, as he should get a KK from there, whereas Ryuden is probably going to get battered.

    • It was only good enough for 8th in guess the banzuke, but only 3 points off the yusho-winning score, and my 30 exact guesses (“bullseyes”) topped everyone :)

    • It’s almost unprecedented. A Komusubi has gone 4-11 on 92 previous occasions, and only twice ended up as high as M2—and both were in the same tournament in 1953.

      • Well, the maegashira-joi got absolutely massacred, so I guess there was something of a cushion for him.

    • He was lucky in a sense but there really wasn’t anyone else to put there: look who we’ve got at M3.

      • True!
        And I guess he won’t feel so lucky if he takes another pasting from the sanyaku boys . . .

        Looking further down, Aioyama and Endo at M12 seem far too low given their natural talents – assuming they are reasonably fit I am expecting comfortable kachi-koshi’s from them both.

        • Aoiyama has been down at the scruffy end of the banzuke for most of the year. Every time I have thought “Wow Aoiyama is much better than that,he should really kick ass at that rank”… and he has gone 8-7,8-7, 8-7 & 7-8. I just don’t think he has it anymore.

          Now that I’ve said that of course, he will probably go 13-2 and get a jun-yusho.

            • Ah, OK – I guess I had better lower my expectations for Aioyama then.

              To repeat a comment from a different thread – the big guy looks like he could really use losing 10 or 20 kg.

        • Tamawashi was in Sanyaku for the better part of the last two years. SInce Aki 2016 he had 3 Makekoshi (without last tournament), two of them 7-8 and a 6-9 at Sekiwake. Since Kyushuu 2016 he hasnt been ranked worse than M1. Not sure why you automatically assume that he will take a beating, just because he got one bad tournament.

          • No such automatic assumption – I wrote ‘he won’t feel so lucky if he takes another pasting…’.

  3. Kagayaki is a lucky bastard, despite frequent makekoshi and shit performance (overall makuchi record 104-121), he still hangs on M6 position. Unexplainably lucky…


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