Everyone has heard me talk about two things this basho and at length. The crux and Okinoumi/Homasho. This post is no different. I plan to talk about the crux and Okinoumi/Homasho. Bored with me, my crux and my M1 duo? Go check out Valentine’s Day 6 report and leave this post to people more bored than you. But, if you’re digging Homey and Oki, then I’ve got some polls for you below!
With that out of the way, let me turn back to my passions/obsessions. First of all, the M1 crux. What’s the M1 crux? Click here.
We have one day left in the M1 crux and Oki and Homey are setting up nicely for a great post-crux rivalry. Homey and Oki did far better than expected in their upper cruxes than I had expected. Both of them got two wins against the Ozeki. Granted, the Ozeki are looking more like Osucky this basho, but I feel that the M1s wins against them were legitimate.
On Day 3, Oki let me down a little bit. I am really rooting for Oki and Homey to come through the crux with equal records. I was disappointed when Oki failed to beat Baruto, but I knew the M1 crux was not over. The lower crux was still waiting, and strangely, the lower M1 crux has been more challenging than the upper crux was. Both Homey and Oki lost to the promotion hopefuls (Kotoshogiku and Kisenosato), and then yesterday Oki got a win against the Kak while Homey took a loss against Kissy.
That sets the stage nicely for the coming days.
Rivalry #1 Oki and the Geek.
I mentioned yesterday that Oki is a litmus test for the Geek’s promotion validity. The two faced off last basho and Oki defeated the Geek. That said, the two have an even record this year (1-1). The Geek is on the promotion hunt AND in the yusho race. This bout is coming up today, so get your votes in soon!
Rivalry #2: Homey and the Kak.
Oh dear. Does the joke even need to be made? I don’t want to see anymore screenshots from Deliverance showing up this basho, so don’t answer that.
Its hard to say who will win this one. Homey is on his game this basho, the Kak is not. On the other hand, the Kak is Homey’s crux and not the other way around. To make matters harder to predict, these two have faced each other 6 times over the last year and their record against each other is 3-3, with recent wins by both (though the last time they faced off the Kak got the win).
Rivalry #3: Oki and Homey
I’ve been waiting for this all basho long. I am pleased that it is shaping up to be a hot rivalry. This one is still a ways off, so you have time to think, and here is some stuff to think about:
Homey is experimenting with a variety of tachiai techniques. He got his wins against the Ozeki by being smart with his tachiai. He avoided full frontals with the big ones and set himself well back to nullify the power of Ama. However, as we saw against Kotoshogiku, he hasn’t quite perfected his new tachiai prowess yet. He set himself too far back against the Geek and lost. He set himself too far back against Kissy, too. Its important that Homey shape up his tachiai because Oki has been looking good post tachiai.
Now, Oki and Homey share a rank, but Homey holds the east. Where this is Oki’s first time as M1, Homey is now an M1 veteran. He has proven again and again that he can fight his way up to the M1 rank. However, Homey has yet to prove that he can hold his own up in Jo’i. He’s well on his way to proving it in this basho, but he isn’t there yet. I mentioned yesterday how defensive sumo is more important than offensive sumo as you get closer to the top.
Homey is the lowest member of Oki’s crux and Oki has been showing a lot of confidence in the crux so far. Its a tough call. I leave it to you all to weigh in:
I’ll be checking in with Homey and Oki for the rest of the basho in the comments section of this page. But this post will be my last concerning the M1 duo this basho. Its finally time to start looking wholeheartedly at the Ozeki Promotion Duo (Kissy and the Geek): may they come through their cruxes with hopes intact.