Aki Banzuke Postmortem

The official September banzuke has just been released. Let’s see how my prediction fared. As expected, there are lots of very lenient demotions and generous promotions, although I didn’t get all the details right.

I correctly predicted all nine san’yaku rikishi at their exact ranks, but this was a fairly routine exercise this time (the only slight wrinkles are that Hoshoryu, as a newcomer to the rank, is the lowest-ranked of the Ozeki, despite posting by far the best record in Nagoya, that he is placed on the West side, to balance out the sole Yokozuna Terunofuji, and that the third Sekiwake, newcomer Kotonowaka, is on the East side).

In my prediction post, I wrote that the most likely order at M1-M2 was Hokutofuji, Meisei, Asanoyama, Abi, but that Abi could jump ahead of Asanoyama. That is in fact exactly what happened. I also correctly outlined who’d fill M3-M5, with my one error in this part of the banzuke being placing Gonoyama at M4e and Takanosho at M5e, while the banzuke committee flipped them. Given their respective ranks and records, the rikishi with the most wins usually gets the tie, so I am not sure why M9e Takanosho (8-7, 4-rank overpromotion) got the nod over M13e Gonoyama (10-5, 3-rank overpromotion). Of the 19 rikishi placed so far, I had 15 at the correct rank and side, plus two more at the right rank but on the wrong side.

The trickiest part of the banzuke to predict was M6-M11, with a dozen rikishi very close to each other by rank and record. And the banzuke committee made a number of choices among them that differed from mine: I had only 3 of the 12 at the exact same rank (all in the M6-M7 area), plus one more on the wrong side. The general trend was to favor overpromotions rather than underdemotions—for instance, M15e Ryuden (10-5) ended up two ranks higher than I thought, while M3e Midorifuji (4-11) was 2.5 ranks lower. Rikishi like Midorifuji, Mitakeumi, and Hokuseiho, who ended up with rough records after facing high-ranking opponents, did not seem to get the leniency they often do.

My prediction got back on track at M12, and the only error from here was placing Chiyoshoma and Atamifuji on the wrong sides of M15. Again, I am a bit surprised by the choice of the committee to favor Atamifuji here, not because he didn’t deserve it, but because it meant giving Chiyoshoma a half-rank overdemotion, which the committee generally goes to great lengths to avoid.

Overall, I feel like the prediction captured what could reasonably be expected. It was very close through the first 23 ranks, with only the inclusion of Midorifuji being way off, and again in the last 11 ranks. The 8 positions in between were always going to be something of a coin toss. Now, on to the basho!

5 thoughts on “Aki Banzuke Postmortem

  1. I did a bit of a re-draft before I sent my entry in, and most of my projections were at least within a half-rank of being exact… I don’t think I won this edition of GTB, but I was pretty close…

    • And one slot lower, at J8, is a rikishi from Ukraine! He rejoices in the shikona of Shishi! I know I’ll be rooting for him. Slava Shishi!


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