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Embrace the absurd: Say the 2014 World Cup was drawn today …

Mar 27, 2013, 7:03 PM EDT


Let me pre-empt your comment and acknowledge: I know this is completely pointless. And in a way, that is the point.

I want to embrace the absurdity of looking too deep into early qualifying results. I want to see what the world would look like if Mexico kept struggling, Ghana didn’t get out of their group, or Portugal doesn’t track down Israel in Europe.

I want Uzbekistan’s name in draw, Venezuela in a finals, and nations like Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina to breakthrough.

Most of all, I want some kind of reward for all of the international soccer we’ve been subjected to over the last five days. I want to know this is leading somewhere – that these constant jumps from the club world into this alternative reality will be rewarded. The only way for my frustrated, fatigued little mind to grasp the implications is to draw out the 2014 World Cup.

So here’s what I did: I took the current standings from qualifying tournaments around the world, assumed the teams’ points-per-game rates played out, and then “qualified” the appropriate teams for Brazil. When playoffs were needed, I went with FIFA’s higher rated team (for no other reason than to take my preferences out of the equation).

Beyond using FIFA ranking as a tiebreaker, I didn’t assume the good teams would automatically make it. Think Panama’s going to fade? Too bad. They’re in first now. Montenegro’s not going to win their group? Then they won’t part of the last time we do this exercise eight months from now. We’re living in the present, baby. Embrace the now!

Once the 32 teams were decided. I pulled out Brazil and the seven seeded teams (by FIFA ranking), and conducted the draw by normal procedures. The way it ended up after playoffs, eight European teams formed one pot, the African and South American teams formed another, while the Asian and CONCACAF teams formed the last.

And this is how it played out.

AGAIN, this is not meant to be anything other than a fun exercise. I don’t intend it to be predictive or in any way a reflection of anybody’s analysis. It’s just a goof.

Group A Group B
Cote d’Ivoire
South Korea
Group C Group D
United States
Group E Group F
Group G Group H
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Costa Rica

Perhaps once we’re further down the qualifying road we can put some analysis in this space, but we’re still a little too far down the road to be taking this too seriously. For now, it’s cool to seem some of the new names and potential groups …

… but for now, I leave the analysis to you.

  1. bishopofblunder - Mar 27, 2013 at 9:25 PM


    1) I think Honduras could advance from group C, especially given the location of the tournament.

    2) Your draw wasn’t nearly as kind to the host as FIFA’s is.

    3) In fact, group A could be in the running for “Group of Death” (with group D being another candidate).

  2. slxc - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    haha wouldnt Mexico

  3. korules - Mar 28, 2013 at 4:13 AM

    I like that group!!!!
    However, we (NL) will ALWAYS be in the shittiest of possible groups, so Fifa would change it’s rules and make sure NL was placed with Germany, France and Cote d’Ívoire, it’s how the world works.

  4. msuduo - Jun 13, 2013 at 5:32 AM

    Where is the 4th CONCACAF or the Oceania team? You have to have one or the other.

    Good try though. I’d hate that group for the USeSgrotto

  5. msuduo - Jun 13, 2013 at 5:34 AM

    Never mind. I didn’t see Panama…

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