After going kyujo for one basho, the crystal ball is back! The new rankings will be announced and mailed to supporters on June 21. In advance of this much-awaited event, let’s take a look at how they are likely to shake out.
Here’s my banzuke guess. Scroll down to see which ranks I think it’s most likely to get wrong.
Starting from the top, it’s not a certainty that Terunofuji will leapfrog Takakeisho as a result of the outcome of their playoff bout. Also, it would only qualify as a minor surprise if Endo got the nod for the West Komusubi rank over Meisei. And Daieisho and Ichinojo could switch spots.
Then we come to the biggest question mark on the banzuke—who gets to fill the hole in the rankings at M3w/M4e. M3w is a toss-up between M12e Kotoeko (9-6) and M14w Chiyotairyu (10-5). I went with the former for two reasons. First, their ranks on the east and west side, respectively, give Kotoeko a half-rank edge “by the numbers.” Second, it allowed me to keep Kotoeko and Okinoumi, who posted the same records at the same rank, at similar banzuke positions; otherwise, they’d be separated by 3 full ranks. The banzuke committee could easily go the other way, or even increase the gap by placing Chiyotairyu at M4e and Okinoumi at M7e.
Further down, Aoiyama and Chiyoshoma could easily swap sides at M8, as could Kaisei and Tochinoshin at M11, and in fact any rearrangement of the quartet I placed at M11-M12 wouldn’t surprise me. M15 is another rank where the decision to place Tsurugisho on the East side and Chiyomaru on the West basically came down to a coin flip.
I feel pretty good about the rest of the guesses, but I’m always surprised by at least a couple of the banzuke committee decisions when the official rankings are released. We’ll get to see them in a week; in the meantime, feel free to speculate in the comments.