Nagoya Banzuke Postmortem

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!

13 thoughts on “Nagoya Banzuke Postmortem

  1. The demotions of Wakatakakage, Endo, Nishikifuji and Kotoshoho were the most surpring. I had them way closer to M10.

  2. What surprise me the most ?
    Enho demotion to top makushita !

    I was sure he still had enough rank cushion to at least stay in this “upper” of the barrier. Wow.
    Iksumo was right !!! (Never doubt Iksumo elder. ^_^ )

  3. Hi folks…And the eternal question…Is Natto going to have a channel up and running for the upcoming basho ???? :)

  4. Kagayaki was demoted, but still ended up above Atamifuji, suggesting that had there been one more place in makuuchi, it would have gone to Kagayaki..

    • I agree. The difference between Bushozan and Atamifuji is my greatest surprise, too.
      Apart from the empty gap between S1w and S2w, of course (a little joke for Asasometing et al)!

    • Not necessarily. Decisions about division switches use somewhat different criteria than those about ordering wrestlers within a division. If say Aoiyama had one more loss, I think he’d go down to J1 alongside Kagayaki and Atami would come up.

      • I get what you’re saying and given our relative prediction records its almost impossible to disagree. Its definitely a good parallel universe test case (indeed, I didn’t think big-Dan would make it in that last bout, and I fear for his makuuchi future). Nevertheless, I do wonder if this is Atami-love part 2. ;) I would suspect that if such differences exist, they are more likely to be conservative against switches compared to rankings within divisions.

        • Haha, you may be right, be here’s my logic. A makuuchi division wrestler is demotable if his computed rank is below the bottom existing rank. For Kagayaki, it’s 18E. A juryo rikishi is promotable if his computed rank is above the top rank. Atamifuji was 3 ranks above J1E (and a rank better than Bushozan). In general, the expectation is that a demotable rikishi will go down unless there is no good candidate to replace him, and a promotable rikishi will go up unless there is no room, so if this were the decision, I’d expect them to almost always make the switch. The only thing arguing against this is Atami’s low rank, which is presumably why Bushozan got the nod instead and even ended up above Hakuoho, who computed to a whopping 3 ranks ahead of him. If, say, we were talking about a 9-6 J2, I’d fully expect that rikishi to replace Kagayaki in a division exchange, but wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him ranked behind Kagayaki if both ended up in juryo.

  5. Can’t say I’m surprised, but I’m very glad that Shonannoumi got placed way higher than in your prediction.
    The love shown to Nishikifuji surprised me probably the most given the relative position to some others, but it isn’t out of line for rikishi from M3 with 3 wins.
    The other thing is Wakatakakage. There are not a lot of cases with Komusubi and zero wins, but the only other case ever that led to rank lower than M10 was in 1992.


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