Mar 27, 2013, 7:03 PM EST
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|
|Group C||Group D|
|Group E||Group F|
|Group G||Group H|
Bosnia and Herzegovina
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.
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Dec 24, 2014, 2:35 PM EST
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Arsenal’s likeable winger just hasn’t seen the field, and could be headed to Serie A as a result.
Dec 24, 2014, 10:46 AM EST
The new Manchester United boss is sweating the heavy injury list, both those that need treatment and those in the recovery room.
Dec 24, 2014, 9:23 AM EST
They don’t play for over a month, and therefore Manuel Pellegrini isn’t thinking about Chelsea despite being three points off the Blues for the top spot in the Premier League table.
Dec 23, 2014, 11:13 PM EST
And yes, we’re opening that unfortunate Pandora’s box of discussion again this fine Tuesday in December.
Dec 23, 2014, 10:42 PM EST
Torres is staying in Major League Soccer after a loan stint in Liga MX, and both MLS and Houston are looking solid after the deal.
Dec 23, 2014, 10:03 PM EST
Three cheers for James Milner, who sank his teeth into the idea that his holiday would be simply mundane in this hilarious video.
Dec 23, 2014, 9:10 PM EST
The article also provides us with anecdotes like the following tale of Colts quarterback Luck, one of the many stories that make us wonder, as always, “What if?”
Dec 23, 2014, 8:20 PM EST
The L.A. Galaxy striker doesn’t sound absolutely certain of his MLS future despite appearing at a press conference for an Ireland friendly.
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