Explain some 2006 World Cup to me.

I. Who decides who is assigned to which Division A, B, C?
Are they based on finishes in the qualifying rounds ? In other words are they “seeded” [in U.S. College Basketball’s Championship tournament the universe of teams are ranked into 1,2, 3,4 seeds based on expected performance and then a “division” has a 1 seed 2, 3, 4 and the next division has a 1, 2, 3 ,4 Is that happening here?] **Or is it entirely a crap shoot ** [like horse racing assigning pole positions Jockeys in front of racing stewards pulling the numbers from a hat]?

II. What should the U.S. expectation be?
What is realistic ? 2 wins or Quarterfinals or …. What is disappointing 0 wins and all ties or is it a moral victory being there and losing 0-1 games?

III. Who are the favorites & how solid is that?
In other words are the listed favorites usually the winners (in the US NBA at the beginning of the playoffs there will a few upsets but in most years usually you know the 4ish teams that are going to produce the eventual championship. While in the College ranks the consensus number 1 rarely makes the championship round)

A bit of both. 32 teams qualify for the tournament, and they are divided into 8 groups of 4. The top 8 teams are seeded (one to each group), and the rest are assigned randomly, with some restrictions to get a geographic mix in each group (can’t have an all-European group, for example).

The draw was a few months ago, and was quite a media event; part of the hype leading up to the tournament.

Risking ire…

Moved from IMHO to CS.

Well, the quick answer would be that the team is stronger than last time, so we should do better than last time and get to the semi-finals. The hard part is that the road looks much tougher this time around.

We’re in a much harder group than last time such that, even if we play well, we could not make it out of the group stage (one of the strong teams is not going to move on). Given our group, that probably wouldn’t be horrible, but would definitely be disappointing.

In the Round of 16, we would play either the first or second place team from Group F, which includes Brazil. Obviously, that would be a very tough game, so dropping out at that point would probably be decent if we play well since Brazil should go far. Against any other team from Group F, we should expect to win.

Next would be the quarterfinals with the possible opponents of France or Spain as far as big teams go. Getting this far would be a pretty good World Cup, beyond this it just gets better.

Here’s the top five contenders and odds according to Ladbrokes:

Brazil 5/2
England 11/2
Argentina 6/1
Germany 7/1
Italy 8/1

I think Italy’s overrated there, but otherwise, yeah, the winner will likely come from this group. But then, there’s a reason they play the games on grass and not on paper.

According to what rankings?

Because I’ve heard that in the FIFA rankings, Czech Republic was 2nd and US was 5th. In your explanation, they should have been assigned to different groups.

Is that incorrect?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Cup_2006 explains the whole process.

World Cup seedings are decided upon by the performance of the team in the previous two Finals (in this case the 1998 and 2002 Finals) and the qualification matches for the current Finals (2006).

World Cup 2006 seeding

The FIFA rankings are really complicated, but aren’t actually used for anything. FIFA is introducing a new system in mid-July.

The current system uses the following formula:

w = Points for winning, drawing or losing
g = Points for goals scored in this game
c = Points for the goals conceded
a = Bonus for the away team
s = Appropriate factor for the status of the match
r = Appropriate factor for regional strength
m = Points Received

( w + g + a − c ) s r = m

FIFA rankings

Can someone explain what “caps” are relevent to player stats? The best guess that my girlfriend and I can come up with is that it maybe means assists?

No, it means how many times that player has represented his country. I don’t know that an actual piece of head-covering is awarded any more, but the terminology persists.

What the hell is an asian line handicap?

Ok, that makes a bit more sense. So if they have 62 caps, that means that they’ve somehow represented their home country 62 times, therefore explaining a stat that shows how experianced they are?

It’s a type of spread betting for football.

Wiki explanation

Yep, that’s it.


Originally, the only part of a football team’s strip that was the same was the cap.

The term is also used in Rugby and Cricket.

Full explanation

Watching the USA vs Czech Republic makes a mockery of the rankings, there is a huge gulf between the teams. Since the USA have also never beaten Italy, or Ghana (who they haven’t played) they would seem to be headed out in round 1.

Every real football fan knows that the rankings are a joke. They were initially a marketing tool as much as anything.

True, the rankings are poor, but there is not a “huge gulf” between the teams.

As you post it becomes 3-0.

I would not really say that it makes a mockery of the rankings. Your comment suggests that the Czech Republic (2) is an underrated team. I do agree that the US (5) is overrated, but few people doubt the talent and ability of the Czech Republic.

Yeah, but it still doesn’t mean there is a “huge gulf” between the teams. CR is better, of course, but “huge gulf”, sorry, no.