Nate Silver's Soccer Rankings

Comments

1
Well, he started out doing statistical analysis for baseball so yeah, I think he probably knows what he's doing.
2
your first line is silly. he got his start doing baseball rankings. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_Pr…
3
Wasn't he doing baseball stats before political stats?
4
What @1, @2, and @3 said.

There's this thing called Google...
5
Okokok. Good point, all. Updated.
7
Christ, he's hyping England too? Brazil and Spain are almost no-brainers at this point, but no one outside the worst tabloids should be suckered into thinking that highly about England.
8
England always find a way to lose. It's their national character. But you never know; it's always a brand new day. And Aaron Lennon will be there, and their coach is a non-moron for the first time in a long time, so they could theoretically win. Same could be said of a lot of teams.

I don't think an African team is going to win, certainly not the terrible South Africa, but they are always the most fun to watch, and I will be rooting for Cameroon and Cote d'Ivoire. And Australia. And Uruguay. And yes, USA, but only if Dempsey scores all the goals, not Donovan.

But Spain's going to win. There's only a few players on ANY squad who could break into theirs; they are tops all the way down the line. They just have to remember not to choke.
9
It's Brazil and Germany in the Finals.
10
I'm setting up my Fantasy Futbol Team now.

Only problem is, the only time they get lots of fan support is when they play in the Emerald City ...
11
Another thing to keep in mind with these rankings: there's a margin of error, and there are so few group games -- just three for each team -- that a single mistake or a single herculean effort from somebody or a single ball bounding the wrong way could lead to an upset that's enough to change the group standings in a way that the "superior" team can't recover from. Also, not all groups are equal; someone deserving of a quarterfinal place at least is going home from Group H. This also affects the later rounds, as your opponent may be drawn from a tougher or easier group. It's theoretically possible for a team to get almost a free ride until the semis (when all bets are off).
12
Abby I was thinking the same thing. Yes Rooney is on fire lately but 3rd right behind Spain & Brazil??!?!

Fnarf is right about Spain. I can't remember a team this deep.
13
Ghana is going to do well in this cup, but thats about it. africa is not going anywhere. south africa is worse than the sounders.

spain is mos def the favorite, but watch out for argentina. i know maradona is crazy as helland theyre expecting to fall apart, but this is the world cup and with the greatest player in the world and palermo not injured, argentina is going to turn some heads.

the limeys arent going anywhere.

but with all that said, remember, the world cup is all about the uspsets.

Arriba Argentina! Oh yeah and I wish the Hondurans well too.
14
Spain may be the favorites, but I am hearing whispers that Germany is the outside fave to win it.
Argentina is also one to watch, though Maradona and his peculiar coaching habits may be their downfall. This is Messi's moment to stamp himself as the best player on the planet and whether he rises to the occasion is yet to be seen. As a barcelona fan, I'd love for him to win, but that means Maradona winning, so hmmmmmm... How is Argentina with defenders? They have the front firepower.... how are they @ the back?
15
@14 agree with most, except that messi already proved he is the best in the world. he took care of that last year when barca pimped man u. he can pass out and scratch his nut sack for the whole cup and he is still better than cristiano any day of the week.

argentina was also suppose to fall apart in 86 and we all know that didnt happen.

the only thing that the argies are dreading is that maradona said he would run naked through buenos aires if they won it all.

as a country, argentina has suffered enough.
16
You do have to admit though.... Messi doesn't play as well with the National team..... He does not have Xavi, and Iniesta with him..... until he wins silverware without them there will always be an asterisk to his achievements
17
@13: Ghana are lost now that Essien is out of it. The Dutch - who are really the outside contenders - tore them apart yesterday, and weren't even at their best.

@14: Germany has too many issues this year. They called the standard amount of players up to camp but ended up only having to cut one because there were so many injuries. Their first-choice goalkeeper, one first-choice defender (although Westermann is kind of crap), their captain and one of the guys who could replace the captain are all out, and while I do like Loew he seems to have lost the plot a little. Still, never bet against the Germans.

The Dutch are the dark horses here. Going forward they're fantastic, in the back they're even more wobbly than usual. But they'll be worth watching anyway, until infighting and dramatics take their traditional toll.
18
Ghana and Cameroon looked terrible the other day. I'm still crossing my fingers for Cote d'Ivoire. African teams are the most fun to watch. They've got an awful group, though.

Argentina's defense? They've got some great players, but they're greybeards. Heinze and Samuel are both 32. But where Argentina really lacks is in the midfield; Javier Mascherano is not going to lead them to the promised land. Messi and Tevez are not enough; what's Messi going to do, play a midfield role and feed Tevez? If he is, he's going to have to lead the team on his own. Teams with no coach (Maradona doesn't exist, nobody even listens to him) tend to do poorly.

Honduras I love (Wilson Palacios is the man) but they're not going to shock anybody. The biggest shock from Latin America is going to be Uruguay. If Forlan can play to his cabability, they have the defense to succeed in a weak group.
19
I gotta say though... Giusseppe( sp?) Rossi picked the wrong country to play for..... crashed out of the confed. cup and wont even make it to South Africa.....