Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Meiji Jingu Bid

The final bit of projections finished last month when Takamatsu Shougyou of all teams won the Meiji Jingu Taikai defeating Sapporo Dai-ichi, Osaka Touin and Tsuruga Kehi.

If you took that at face value, you'd think that Takamatsu Shougyou would be considered a senbatsu title contender. Remember though that the winner of the tournament gives their region an extra bid. If you were Osaka Touin (Kinki Super-Region) or Tsuruga Kehi (Hokushinetsu Super-Region), would you win and give a team a chance at the title?

Let me put it another way. Let's say you're Kasumagaura and you won the Kanto Super-Regionals. Yokohama lost in the quarterfinals and thus is outside the top 4 (in order) and would probably be left out as long as the semifinalists didn't have a terrible resume (let's say they don't). Let's also say that in Tokyo (where the floating bid lies), the winner and runner-ups are Nichidai-san and Waseda Jitsugyou, which means that in all likelihood the bid would go there.

Would you win the Meiji Jingu tournament if it meant that Yokohama would get an invite? If I were in that situation, I wouldn't win. If you were Osaka Touin this year, would you win and let either Houtoku Gakuen or Chiben Gakuen into the tournament?

So Takamatsu Shougyou it is.

Hokkaido (1) - Sapporo Dai-ichi
Tohoku (2) - Aomori Yamada (Aomori), Hachinohe Gakuin Kousei (Aomori)
Kanto (4) - Kisaradzu Sougou (Chiba), Jyousou Gakuin (Ibaraki), Toukaidai Koufu (Yamanashi), Kiryuu Dai-ichi (Gunma)
Tokyo (1) - Kanto Dai-ichi
Hokushinetsu (2) - Tsuruga Kehi (Fukui), Fukui Koudai Fukui (Fukui)/Saku Chousei (Nagano)
Tokai (2) - Touhou (Aichi), Inabe Sougou Gakuen (Mie)
Kinki (6) - Osaka Touin (Osaka), Shiga Gakuen (Shiga), Akashi Shougyou (Hyogo), Ryuukokudai Heian (Kyoto), Houtoku Gakuen (Hyogo), Chiben Gakuen (Nara)
Chuugoku (2) - Soushi Gakuen (Okayama), Nanyou Kougyou (Yamaguchi)
Shikoku (2) - Takamatsu Shougyou (Kagawa), Meitoku Gijyuku (Kochi)
Kyushu (4) - Shuugakukan (Kumamoto), Kaisei (Nagasaki), Kagoshima Jitsugyou (Kagoshima), Nichinan Gakuen (Miyazaki)

Chuugoku/Shikoku Floating Bid + Meiji Jingu Bid
Saibi (Ehime), Jyosuikan (Hiroshima), Kaisei (Shimane)

With Takamatsu Shougyou's win, Saibi who I mentioned earlier had the best Shikoku resume for the floating bid will now get the Meiji Jingu Bid instead. With that, the floating bid is almost certainly heading north to the Chuugoku region.

So now we need to take a closer look at Jyosuikan or Kaisei. I'd first look at Kaisei since they played the champs Soushi Gakuen. But they were shutout 5-0 and their only quality win was a 7-0 mercy rule win over Hiroshima Shinjyou. Jyosuikan lost 6-3 to Nanyou Kougyou, who was annihilated by Soushi Gakuen in the final. And they don't have a quality win to their name. None.

Ouch. The resume's are not good at all. If I had to take someone, it would be Kaisei because their shutout loss was no different than any of the other teams to play Soushi Gakuen.

The only other option, and it's a huge longshot, would be that the floating bid actually stays in Shikoku and is given to Tosa, whose 2 losses in the Aki Taikai were to the same team - Meitoku Gijyuku. That's not disgraceful at all, but to intentionally give a 4-2 split when there was an option for a 3-3? Highly unlikely.

Tokyo/Kanto Floating Bid
Nihon Koukuu (Yamanashi), Hanasaki Tokuharu (Saitama), Nishogakushadai Fuzoku (Tokyo)

So here's the problem with that rivalry between Kanto Dai-ichi and Nishogakushadai Fuzoku. Despite the fact the the committee wants the big teams in the tournament, it can't simply continue to hand out floating bids that way. And so while Nishogakushadai Fuzoku may be worthy, it might be that the Tokyo final was a loser-out scenario now that Kanto Dai-ichi didn't win the Meiji Jingu Tournament. (In fact, they lost in their very first game. Still don't believe me about letting a good team in?)

Remember though that the 2 potential Kanto candidates, Hanasaki Tokuharu and Nihon Koukuu played their quarterfinal games close, but didn't have a great resume otherwise. Nishogakushadai Fuzoku defeated both Waseda Jitsugyou and Nichidai-san...

Sentimental wise, I'd love to see Nihon Koukuu get it. I mean, get the Japan Aviation Academy baseball team at Koushien?

If we went strictly by resume and separate from other years, Nishogakushadai Fuzoku gets the bid hands down. But it's not done in a bubble - at least from what I can tell, so I doubt they're getting in again. Name recognition, Hanasaki Tokuharu gets the bid. I secretly hope though Nihon Koukuu somehow winds up with it.

No comments: