- Fantasy Basho
Kyushu 2019 Power Rankings
It's that regular tradition of every tournament, the Fantasy Basho Power Rankings!
These are a crude, yet helpful, rubric to see who has been performing best over the last three tournaments. The formula is simple: A rikishi gets three times their points for the most recent basho, two for the second most recent, and one for the third most recent, plus a bonus for being in Sanyaku. Wrestlers get their win total for Juryo for "points"
First, the chart, then some comments.
Hey, look, the top three are the last three Yusho winners. This is actually more instructive than it seems. Mitakeumi and Asanoyama have been fairly consistent and have a yusho performance, while Kakuryu, despite injury at Aki, is a Yokozuna who put up 14 wins two basho ago.
Hakuho winds up sandwiched between two consistently .500 performers in Sadanoumi and Daieisho. He does this despite missing two basho in the last three. It's a reminder that when he mounts the dohyo, he's still dangerous, but that becomes a bigger concern every tournament.
There's a big fall off after the top twelve, with Takakeisho having 108 points (despite missing a tournament) and Tsurugisho having 98 points (despite being in Juryo for two of the tournaments.) This isn't a perfect system, but that bit is highly instructive. To make that top 12, a wrestler generally has had to have at least one very good performance, without serious issues in the other two. Takakeisho is actually the exception, because he was so good at Aki and rose back to Ozeki for that bonus.
Speaking of bonuses, if you're curious about the top ten without bonuses, it would be, in order, Mitakeumi, Asanoyama, Okinoumi, Enho, Tomokaze, Kotoyuki, Abi, Hokutofuji, Endo, and Kakuryu. That's right, no Yokozuna or Ozeki until slot 10. This also shows why the Banzuke kind of needs four Komusubi. Lots of wrestlers have been performing well enough to earn the rank recently.
Something should be said about the bottom portion of the rankings. Shodai, Chiyotairyu, and Ichinojo all had terrible bashos at Aki, but have had good performances somewhat recently and are facing a new slate of rikishi. (But Ichinojo might still be hurt.) Chiyomaru, Daishomaru, Takanosho, and Wakatakakage are weighed down by having almost entirely Juryo records. If there's anywhere to be suspicious of the power rankings, it's here.