Hatsu Banzuke Postmortem

With the January banzuke now released, let’s see how the Crystal Ball fared.

The top three ranks went exactly to form: East Yokozuna Terunofuji, East Ozeki Takakeisho, West Ozeki Shodai, East Sekiwake Mitakeumi, and West Sekiwake Takanosho.

Also as predicted, the two Komusubi slots went to Meisei and Daieisho, but contrary to my guess, Meisei is ranked on the more prestigious East side (I did note that this wouldn’t surprise me).

The Maegashira Ranks

I noted several areas of uncertainty (the known unknowns). How did those play out, and what turned out to be unknown unknowns—surprises by the banzuke committee at ranks that seemed pretty cut-and-dried?

  • Who will take the M1w slot—Ura or Kiribayama?
    • I went with Ura; the banzuke committee went with Kiribayama.
  • Do I have the rikishi on the correct sides at M5 and M6?
    • There were more surprises here than I expected, with Onosho only falling three ranks to M5e after a 5-10 record. As a result, Chiyoshoma ended up half a rank lower than I predicted, and Abi a full rank lower. I did get Hoshoryu spot-on.
  • Possibly the biggest wildcard—how far will Myogiryu drop? I have him at what I think is the highest possible position, M10e, but anything from there to M14e wouldn’t surprise me.
    • Score one for the Crystal Ball, which got Myogiryu exactly right.
  • Will Oho get promoted, or will M14e Kagayaki (5-10) get to stay in Makuuchi instead?
    • Very happy to see that the banzuke committee gave Oho his top-division debut!

What unexpected surprises did the banzuke committee have up its sleeve? I thought Ichinojo would get a rather lenient drop from Komusubi to M3w after his 5-10 record; the banzuke committee was even more charitable, dropping him to only M2w. Continuing a theme of lenient demotions for upper rankers with bad records, Takarafuji only dropped to M7w (I had him at M8e). And in other minor surprises, Chiyonokuni is ahead of Shimanoumi, Ishiura is ahead of Chiyotairyu, Yutakayama is ahead of Kotonowaka, and Tochinoshin is ahead of Aoiyama.

The Crystal Ball did well with the Juryo promotions, not only getting all the exchanges right, but placing them at exactly the correct rank. In total, the prediction agreed with the actual banzuke at 23 of the 42 positions, and placed a further 7 rikishi at the correct rank but on the wrong side. Of the 12 misses, 8 were a result of half-rank switches (e.g. M1w and M2e), 3 were by one rank, and the worst miss was by one and a half ranks (the aforementioned Onosho). I’m pretty happy with this level of accuracy.

9 thoughts on “Hatsu Banzuke Postmortem

  1. Solid effort sir! Much as I love Kagayaki (when he’s actually fighting like he means it), I am happy to see him join the Juryo barge.

    Now, we wait to see who else was taking trips to that gambling den in Saitama

  2. Notice Ryuden’s still banging around at Mak5….Guess he’s still got some penance to do for his “indiscretions”…Me thinks the longer he stays the more lower ranked Mac’s going to get a head stomping…Also notice..Ma man Ishizaki has been dropped back to Mac 23..Keep on paying yer dues dude…:).

    • He got 6 wins at M13, which was definitely enough to save him. With only 5, it would have been much closer, although he probably still would have just survived, given that Kagayaki had 5 wins at M14 and is ranked J1e.

  3. Glad to see Kaisei still lingering around Makuuchi. Hopefully he can be more agressive next month and avoid demotion again.

  4. Really enjoy you guys using the Crystal Ball, I’m terrible at predictions so appreciate the effort and you always getting pretty close. In scanning this banzuke my first and immediate thought was “Ho-hum, not much to get excited about.”

    I suspect the Japanese press will push the Mitakeumi Ozeki drive. If they hold him to the 33 wins standard he needs to go 13-2 but I suspect 12-3 and maybe even 11-4 will get it done for him. 11-4 is a stretch but I think 12-3 pretty much seals the deal.

    Other than that, the only real competition for T-Rex is Butterball (Takakeisho) hence my ho-humness as I don’t see anyone else capable of pressing the Yokozuna. T-Rex is now firmly ensconced as The Story Teller just like Hakuho before him and Asashoryu before him.

    It’s a new year and as the immortal Rick Flair used to say “To be The Man you have to beat The Man” and right now by leaps and bounds T-Rex is The Man.

    Here’s hoping the rest of the Banzuke can up their collective game and give us a competitive and entertaining 2022!

    Hakkeyoi (はっけよい)!!!

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