Friday, December 09, 2005

World Cup Draw Analysis

The sum of the four teams' world rankings for each group (based on current FIFA world rankings with the seeded team in parentheses):

Group A (Germany): 16+37+23+21=97
Group B (England): 9+30+14+51=104
Group C (Argentina): 4+41+3+47= 95
Group D (Mexico): 7+62+10+19=98
Group E (Italy): 12+50+2+8=72
Group F (Brazil): 1+49+20+15=85
Group G (France): 5+56+36+29=126
Group H (Spain): 6+28+40+32=106

The average of the sums is about 98. Each group's sum is within 15% of the average except Group G, which is about 29% greater than the average, and Group E, which is about 26% below the average. That's bad for the US, which is in Group E.

The seeded team is the highest ranked team in its group except for Argentina in Group C (the Netherlands is ranked one spot better at 3) and Italy in Group E. Interestingly, both the Czech Republic and the US are currently ranked higher than Italy in Group E; again, bad for the US, although I can't imagine Italy is too pleased with its draw. Group E looks like next year's "Group of Death".

Germany's group (A) does not have a single team ranked in the top 10, but three of the four teams are in the top 25. Argentina and the Netherlands (Group C) should have no problem advancing from their group. Three of the four teams in Mexico's and Brazil's groups (D and F) are in the top 20. It looks like France and Spain have by far the easiest roads to the Round of 16 followed by a slightly more difficult road for England.

I can't say this looks good for the US. Advancing to the Round of 16 in the 2006 World Cup will require finishing ahead of either the Czech Republic or Italy in group play - this would be a major accomplishment. Winning Group E is extremely unlikely. I was pissed when the US was not seeded and getting drawn into a group with another top 10 team besides the seeded team is particularly unlucky.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Soccer is awesome but this is Heisman eve! How about something a little more timely?