In the spirit of accountability, let’s review how my guess did compared to the just-released Nagoya banzuke. It started off well, with my prediction perfectly matching the real thing at the first 18 ranks, from Y1e to M5w. The san’yaku was quite predictable this time, and the only real question in the upper maegashira ranks was the precise placement of former Ozeki Asanoyama. I correctly guessed that he would be placed at M4e, bumping 7-8 Ura down by half a rank to M4w so that he got at least a minimal demotion.
I expected my streak of correct predictions to extend down to M9e, but there were a couple of surprises here. M11e Hokuseiho (8-7) is ranked at M6e, just ahead of M16w Oho (11-4). My prediction (and all others I’ve seen) had them switched. Perhaps Hokuseiho’s brief presence in the yusho race, which had him fight 3 Sekiwake, counted in his favor. Also, it seemed very straightforward that Takanosho and Hokutofuji would occupy M8w and M9e, respectively, but the banzuke committee felt the need to place Nishikifuji ahead of them, giving him an extremely lenient 5-rank demotion after his disastrous 3-12 performance (my guess had him 3 full ranks lower).
The bottom half of the maegashira ranks was always going to be a crapshoot, but quite a few of the decisions here are nevertheless baffling. Wakatakakage got a much bigger demotion than I or most other forecasters expected, perhaps because it is known that he won’t be participating in Nagoya. In general, the relative demotions given to higher-ranked rikishi with terrible records (Nishikifuji, Wakatakakage, Kinbozan, Kotoshoho, and Endo) don’t show much consistency, and neither do the placements of the Juryo promotions. I did correctly guess Gonoyama at M13e, but I did not see Hakuoho (Ochiai) ending up behind Bushozan (I actually had Atamifuji as the final promotion instead of Bushozan, but I knew this was a heart-over-head pick). Well, at least they brought them both up, instead of saving Kagayaki.
What surprised you the most? Let me know in the comments, and on to the basho!