Monday, June 26, 2006

Mirtle's World Cup Big Board

UPDATED with Sunday games.

Based purely on their FIFA world ranking, the Big Board is going to list all 32 teams competing in this World Cup and track their status through the tournament. Teams that win a game will get a green while those that lose receive a red X. Countries eliminated from the tournament altogether recieve an embarrassingly pink E. (Draws get a grey D.)

It's a World Cup for Dummies approach that lets us know who the underdogs are and how they're doing. (At the very least, it'll help us out.)

1. Brazil
2. Czech Republic X X E
3. Netherlands D X E
4. Mexico D X X E
5. USA X D X E
5. Spain √√
7. Portugal
8. France DD
9. Argentina D
10. England √√ D
13. Italy D
16. Sweden D D X E
18. Japan X D X E
19. Germany
21. Tunisia D X X E
23. Iran X X E D
23. Croatia X DD E
26. Costa Rica X X E X
29. Poland X X E
29. Korea Republic D X E
32. Ivory Coast X X E
33. Paraguay X X E
34. Saudi Arabia D X X E
35. Switzerland D √√
39. Ecuador √√ X X E
42. Australia X D
44. Serbia-Montenegro X X E X
45. Ukraine X √√
47. Trinidad and Tobago D X X E
48. Ghana X
57. Angola X DD E
61. Togo X X E X


At 7:40 p.m., June 09, 2006, Anonymous Rand said...

Go Togo?

Not that I have the faintest idea whom they are or where in the world Toga is but their evidently considerable underdogs.

At 7:45 p.m., June 09, 2006, Blogger James Mirtle said...


Here's a great map of where all the teams in the tourney are: here

Should have posted that earlier.

At 6:40 p.m., June 11, 2006, Blogger Chris said...

These ones with the green checks..does this mean only squares root for them?


At 10:44 p.m., June 11, 2006, Blogger James Mirtle said...


I'm not sure if I should delete that and save you the embarrassment or not...


At 4:26 p.m., June 12, 2006, Blogger Keith said...

Shame about the USA game. Maybe next time it will be a winner.

At 4:36 a.m., June 15, 2006, Anonymous Howard said...

I'm going to have to pull you up on the use of the phrase 'Penalty Time' there, James :)

Also, the FIFA rankings tend to be not so well respected in general (a good example would be the US, a well organised and skilful side for sure, but certainly NOT the 5th best team in the world).

Personally, I reckon the guys at Stats on Sport have a great rankings system, which can be seen here

Anyway, England to beat T & T either 2 - 0 or 3 - 0 this afternoon :)

At 1:06 p.m., June 16, 2006, Blogger DR said...

You can throw a couple pink Es on there for Poland and Costa Rica!

At 2:13 a.m., June 21, 2006, Blogger Avi Schaumberg said...

A handy reference. I like it.

As for how the ranking should be ordered, that takes you down a rabbit hole. Off the top of my head, you could pick the world rankings (derived from a terrible incumbent-favouring formula), the FIFA rankings for tournament seeding (produced from an even worse formula), or a bookmakers list.

If you're interested in just how awful these formulas are, I had some unkind words about the tournament seeding method back in October in the posts The Leipzig List and England Wins Under Seeding Rules.

Short version: if you think the performance of these teams in 1998 should have any bearing on how they're ranked today, you'll love the system. The 1998 tournament results are given as much weight in seeding as this year’s world rankings.

At 2:46 a.m., June 23, 2006, Anonymous Par said...

Looks like you may have misappropriated the embarrassingly pink "E" destined for the US to Mexico by mistake.

Group E (US, Czechs, Italy, Ghana) seems to be doing its best to destroy the credibility of the rankings, though.

At 3:15 a.m., June 25, 2006, Blogger Achtungbaby said...

I've tried to get into this like I said I would but it's hopeless.

This sport is right up there with Curling with me. I can appreciate the athletes, but am still mindlessly bored to death.

Good luck to the fans who have a horse left in this race.


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