前橋育英が優勝の甲子園 事前予想は各紙大ハズレ! 予想が外れた理由は「全試合抽選」の復活?

8月22日、甲子園球場で第95回全国高校野球選手権の決勝が行われ、初出場の前橋育英高校が、宮崎県代表の延岡学園高校を4対3で破り、初出場で初優勝という快挙を成し遂げた。今回の夏の甲子園は、前年度優勝の大阪桐蔭、春の選抜で優勝した浦和学院が早々に敗退する波乱の大会となった。それを証明するかのように、専門家による事前予想を検証すると、その結果は散々なものとなっている。


(画像:前橋育英高等学校ホームページより)
地方大会の段階から、各マスメディアが大きなスペースを割いて報道を行う夏の甲子園。各都道府県の代表が決まり、組み合わせ抽選会も行われた後には、各紙が優勝候補や注目選手をピックアップするのが毎夏の恒例行事だが、今夏の予想記事を振り返ると、各紙が予想記事であげた学校名は以下のようなものとなる。

「優勝争いは大阪桐蔭、常葉学園菊川(静岡)、明徳義塾、浦和学院が軸になりそう」(東京新聞 8月6日)
「史上8校目の春夏連覇が懸かる浦和学院(埼玉)や大会2連覇を狙う大阪桐蔭、大会屈指の剛腕の安楽を擁する済美(愛媛)などの対戦相手が注目される」(日刊スポーツ 8月4日)
「本命が4季連続出場で大阪桐蔭」「対抗は同じく4季連続出場でセンバツVの浦和学院」(東スポWeb 8月6日)

このほか、他紙が有力校としてあげた学校は、済美、仙台育英、横浜、日大三高など。注目選手としては、産経や毎日などが、前橋育英の2年生エース・高橋光成選手を、また産経と日刊スポーツなどが延岡学園の4番・岩重選手をピックアップしていたが、有力校として決勝に進んだ両校や、ベスト4に進出した日大山形や花巻東の躍進を予想していた新聞は、全国紙では見当たらない。

今夏の甲子園の変更点としては、以前採用されていた「全試合抽選」が復活し、事前の対戦チーム分析が困難になったという面はある。しかし、全49校の中から数チームを有力校としてピックアップしながら、"49分の4"(=ベスト4)さえ当てられないというのは異例中の異例。先述の抽選制度の改定や記録的猛暑など、波乱が起こる土壌は幾重にもあったが、"非有力校"がこれだけ躍進したところを見ると、かつて存在した"都道府県格差"は確実に縮まりつつあるようだ。

【参照リンク】
・甲子園8日開幕 1回戦から好カード続々-東京新聞
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/sports/news/CK2013080602000103.html
・連覇目指す大阪桐蔭が本命-東スポWeb
http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/sports/baseball/170309/
・甲子園組み合わせ、注目の対戦カードは-日刊スポーツ
http://www.nikkansports.com/baseball/highschool/news/f-bb-tp3-20130804-1168196.html
・第95回全国高校野球:あす開幕 注目選手紹介-毎日新聞
http://koshien.mainichi.jp/koshien/news/20130807ddm035050194000c.html
・今年の注目、剛腕の済美・安楽、打率4割6分の大阪桐蔭・森友-MSN産経ニュース
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/sports/news/130807/bbl13080710180001-n1.htm
・「東の上林、西の森」/注目打者-日刊スポーツ
http://www.nikkansports.com/baseball/highschool/news/p-bb-tp3-20130806-1168852.html 

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