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The W - Sports that aren't Baseball, Football, Basketball, or Hockey - Euro 2012 Draw
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TheBucsFan
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.99
FIFA world rankings in parentheses:

Group A (in Poland; average FIFA world rank: 31.25)
- Czech Republic (33)
- Greece (14)
- Poland (66)
- Russia (12)

It's pretty ridiculous how light this group is when compared to the others. Two of the three lowest-ranked teams in the tournament in Poland (lowest) and the Czech Republic (third-lowest) are here, and it's the only group without a team in the top 10 of FIFA's world rankings.

Group B (in Ukraine; average FIFA world rank: 5.75)
- Denmark (11)
- Germany (3)
- Netherlands (2)
- Portugal (7)

I feel bad for Denmark, who has no chance in hell of advancing past this group but would probably have greater than 50 percent odds of finishing in the top two of Group A, and at least have a chance in either of the other two groups. Portugal would probably win outright in Group A, but will have its work cut out for it to overcome either of the Netherlands or Germany to make it to the knockout stage.

Group C (in Poland; average FIFA world rank: 9.75)
- Croatia (8)
- Ireland (21)
- Italy (9)
- Spain (1)

Spain gets an easy pass to the round of 16 here.

Group D (in Ukraine; average FIFA world rank: 23.25)
- England (5)
- France (15)
- Sweden (18)
- Ukraine (55)

And here it looks like England and France are the top of the group, unless France collapses again. They seem much improved under their new manager, though.

Someone pointed out to me that if Spain and Germany both win their groups, as they should, then the brackets would work out in such a way that they would meet in the final (in a rematch of the 2008 final), if they met at all. That would be cool, I suppose, but I'd rather see a Spain/Netherlands rematch. I was really hoping to see Denmark make a run into the knockout stages, but after this draw that is out the window.

Not sure which team, if any, will make a shocking run deep into the tournament. Maybe France, if you consider their disappointment of two years ago to have lowered expectations enough to call that a shocker, because the talent is certainly there.
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TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.99
After seeing this draw, I would really like to see UEFA consider revising how it assigns the groups. The discrepancy between Group A and Group B, and between each those two and the other two groups, is really ridiculous in my opinion. I wouldn't want to see a committee sort of thing like the NCAA does for its tournaments; rather, some kind of slotting of teams based on FIFA rankings. Just as two ideas I have:

1) They could rank all 16 teams by FIFA ranking, then assign them like this: Teams 1-4 go to groups A-D, in order; groups 5-8 go to groups A-D, in order; and so on. With that, you wind up with the following groups out of this group of 16:

Spain (1)
Portugal (7)
Russia (12)
Ireland (21)
Average: 10.25

Netherlands (2)
Croatia (8)
Greece (14)
Czech Republic (33)
Average: 13.75

Germany (3)
Italy (9)
France (15)
Ukraine (55)
Average: 20.5

England (5)
Denmark (11)
Sweden (18)
Poland (66)
Average: 25


I don't particularly like this one either, though, because you still have one group that is clearly the best of the bunch, and in Group D, England should be dominant.

2) A snake model, ranking all 16 teams, then assigning them like this: Teams 1-4 go to groups A-D, in order; teams 5-8 go to groups A-D, in reverse order; teams 9-12 go to groups A-D, in order; and teams 13-16 go to groups A-D, in reverse order. Using this, you get the following groups:

Spain (1)
Denmark (11)
Russia (12)
Poland (66)
Average: 22.5

Netherlands (2)
Italy (9)
Greece (14)
Ukraine (55)
Average: 20

Germany (3)
Croatia (8)
France (15)
Czech Republic (33)
Average 14.75

England (5)
Portugal (7)
Sweden (18)
Ireland (21)
Average: 14.75


When you have two teams in Ukraine and Poland that are such distant statistical outliers, the average rankings of their groups are always going to be skewed, but overall I think these are four groups about as evenly matched up as could be hoped for without just picking and choosing where to put teams. Each group has a clear favorite to win it, which is unfortunate, but it's a tradeoff; I'd argue that the only group that doesn't have a clear favorite in the current groups is Group A, and that's because none of the four sides is particular good (no offense, Russia). And the second spot is totally up for grabs in each of them. The only teams I'd say have no chance of advancing are the four teams ranked outside the top 20 (Ireland maybe with a slightly better chance than the other three, but it's still unlikely), and this way those four teams are distributed equally so none of the actual contenders get the advantage of playing two of the bottom feeders in the group stage.
JayJayDean
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.97
Using the FIFA World Rankings isn't really representative, though. The top-15 ranked teams by UEFA are in this tournament, plus Poland who are 28. UEFA put Poland and Ukraine (the hosts, UKR is ranked 15), Spain (the defending champions and ranked #1 by UEFA), and the Netherlands (2) in Pot 1, then put the teams 3-6 in Pot 2, 7-10 in Pot 3, and 11-14 in Pot 4.

Sure, Denmark is screwed by the fact that they are in Pot 4 instead of Pot 3 due to the inferior hosts being put into Pot 1, but they had a 25% chance of being put into any particular group AND a 50% chance of avoiding Spain and the Netherlands altogether.

EDIT: For reference, here is how the pots were set-up, with the teams' UEFA ranking coefficient in parentheses.

Pot 1
Spain (1)
Netherlands (2)
Ukraine (15)
Poland (28)

Pot 2
Germany (3)
Italy (4)
England (5)
Russia (6)

Pot 3
Croatia (7)
Greece (8)
Portugal (9)
Sweden (10)

Pot 4
Denmark (11)
France (12)
Czech Republic (13)
Ireland (14)

(edited by JayJayDean on 2.12.11 1713)


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TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.99
    Originally posted by JayJayDean
    Using the FIFA World Rankings isn't really representative, though. The top-15 ranked teams by UEFA are in this tournament, plus Poland who are 28. UEFA put Poland and Ukraine (the hosts, UKR is ranked 15), Spain (the defending champions and ranked #1 by UEFA), and the Netherlands (2) in Pot 1, then put the teams 3-6 in Pot 2, 7-10 in Pot 3, and 11-14 in Pot 4.

    Sure, Denmark is screwed by the fact that they are in Pot 4 instead of Pot 3 due to the inferior hosts being put into Pot 1, but they had a 25% chance of being put into any particular group AND a 50% chance of avoiding Spain and the Netherlands altogether.


I'm not married to the FIFA rankings, but I don't know any other universally recognized international rankings, or any other method of ranking the teams 1-16.

I just think using the methods I described, especially the second one, would more consistently produce four closer to even groups than drawing balls from a pot does. I also think, though could be wrong, that it prevents all together the creation of a group like Group A, which is just a total joke in my opinion.

One of Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands, all of which are in the top five teams in this tournament, will be sitting at home watching the round of eight, while two of Russia, Greece and the Czech Republic will be participating. I think that really, really sucks. Upsets happen, so something like this is always a possibility, but to know it is an inevitable fact before play has even begun because of the way the system is set up is pretty frustrating.

What are the strengths of the balls in a pot method that are lost in what I propose? I also should point out, these are just two ideas I came up with in the minutes after I saw the draw, I'm sure someone smarter than me could come up with an even better suggested method.
odessasteps
Scrapple








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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.03

Given how corrupt international futbol is, using a random chance generator (assuming it really is random) is perhaps the only way the draw isn't rigged.

Remember, UEFA changed the rules for WC qualifying in 2009-2010 during the competition to help make sure big teams like France and Portugal had the best chance of making it to South Africa.



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Odessa Steps Magazine presents


RUSSIAN FLAG BURIAL - an examination of 1984 mid-south


Captain Ferret
Chipolata








Since: 14.9.02
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#6 Posted on
The seedings for the draw were based on a combination of FIFA rankings and recent tournament performance (hence France being in the fourth seeds) with the exception of Poland and Ukraine. Basically, having two hosts increased the likelihood of at least one 'Group Of Death' scenario.

40% of the average ranking points per game earned in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying stage.
40% of the average ranking points per game earned in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying stage and final tournament.
20% of the average ranking points per game earned in the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying stage and final tournament.


Mind you, the Euros only has 16 teams, and there's a much smaller disparity between the qualifiers than you get for the World Cup, so a seemingly unfair group is always a distinct possibility.

(edited by Captain Ferret on 3.12.11 1852)
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.99
    Originally posted by Captain Ferret

    Mind you, the Euros only has 16 teams, and there's a much smaller disparity between the qualifiers than you get for the World Cup, so a seemingly unfair group is always a distinct possibility.


I realize that. That is the exact thing I've said sucks and should be rethought.

Use whatever ranking mechanism you want, but the balls in a pot method is totally unnecessary, in my view. What does it add?

The methods I suggested are no more subject to potential rigging then the current method, so I don't think that's an issue. So what's the benefit? I feel like there are plenty of ways they could distribute the groups that make such a huge, huge discrepancy in terms of quality much less likely.
JayJayDean
Scrapple








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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.97
    Originally posted by Captain Ferret
    (hence France being in the fourth seeds)


France wasn't the fourth seed - the Dutch were. France was put into pot #4 with their UEFA ranking of 12th.

    Originally posted by odessasteps
    Given how corrupt international futbol is, using a random chance generator (assuming it really is random) is perhaps the only way the draw isn't rigged.


There is this and there is also the motivation they have when making tennis draws to add a sense of randomness so that the same match-ups don't keep happening over and over again.

If they had not put Poland and Ukraine in Pot 1 (basically giving them the top two seeds) and put them in Pot 4 where they belong, then grouped Pot 1 as seed 1-4, Pot 2 as 5-8, etc., assuming everything stayed the same draw-wise you would've ended up with these groups.

Group A
The Netherlands (the overall #2 seed, placed here to be opposite Spain's bracket, pulled from Pot 1)
Greece (the #4 team in Pot 2)
Sweden (the #2 team in Pot 3)
Ukraine (the #3 team in Pot #4)

Group B
Italy (the #4 team in Pot 1)
England (the #1 team in Pot 2)
Denmark (the #3 team in Pot 3)
Czech Republic (the #1 team in Pot 4)

Group C
Germany (the #3 team in Pot 1)
Russia (the #2 team in Pot 2)
Portugal (the #1 team in Pot 3)
Poland (the #4 team in Pot 4)

Group D
Spain (the overall #1 seed, placed opposite the Netherlands)
Croatia (the #3 team in Pot 2)
France (the #4 team in Pot 3)
Ireland (the #2 team in Pot 4)

My immediate reaction to laying the groups out like this is to agree that Poland AND Ukraine being seeded really buggered things up, but then that comes with being the hosts and UEFA knew they weren't exactly getting two powerhouses when they awarded them the tournament.



Holy fuck shit motherfucker shit. Read comics. Fuck shit shit fuck shit I sold out when I did my job. Fuck fuck fuck shit fuck. Sorry had to do it....

*snip*

Revenge of the Sith = one thumb up from me. Fuck shit. I want to tittie fuck your ass.
-- The Guinness. to Cerebus
Captain Ferret
Chipolata








Since: 14.9.02
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#9 Posted on
    Originally posted by JayJayDean
      Originally posted by Captain Ferret
      (hence France being in the fourth seeds)


    France wasn't the fourth seed - the Dutch were. France was put into pot #4 with their UEFA ranking of 12th.



That's what I said.

    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
      Originally posted by Captain Ferret

      Mind you, the Euros only has 16 teams, and there's a much smaller disparity between the qualifiers than you get for the World Cup, so a seemingly unfair group is always a distinct possibility.


    I realize that. That is the exact thing I've said sucks and should be rethought.

    Use whatever ranking mechanism you want, but the balls in a pot method is totally unnecessary, in my view. What does it add?

    The methods I suggested are no more subject to potential rigging then the current method, so I don't think that's an issue. So what's the benefit? I feel like there are plenty of ways they could distribute the groups that make such a huge, huge discrepancy in terms of quality much less likely.


I actually prefer it when there's a group of death, it makes the group stages more interesting. There's enough keeping big teams apart as it is, make 'em earn it, I say.

If you want a full on random draw, watch out for tomorrow's FA Cup 3rd round draw

(edited by Captain Ferret on 3.12.11 2015)
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.99
    Originally posted by Captain Ferret
    If you want a full on random draw, watch out for tomorrow's FA Cup 3rd round draw


I'm not sure you've actually read what I wrote. I did not and would not advocate a random draw. It's just a slight hint of randomness (not really random, I know) that has given the Czech Republic, the third-lowest ranked team in this pool, a more favorable draw than Portugal, the fourth- or fifth-highest ranked.

Hell, the Czech Republic have a more favorable draw than the second-, third- AND fifth- highest ranked, though two of those three are going to get through anyway. I think the idea should be to determine which are the best teams. The eight teams that get to the elimination round should be as close as possible to the best eight in the group stage, though of course that's not going to be literally possible to determine using this group format. As it is right now though, going in we already know with overwhelming certainty that it won't be the case. That's a broken system, in my view.

(edited by TheBucsFan on 3.12.11 1525)
Captain Ferret
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#11 Posted on
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
      Originally posted by Captain Ferret
      If you want a full on random draw, watch out for tomorrow's FA Cup 3rd round draw


    I'm not sure you've actually read what I wrote. I did not and would not advocate a random draw. It's just a slight hint of randomness (not really random, I know) that has given the Czech Republic, the third-lowest ranked team in this pool, a more favorable draw than Portugal, the fourth- or fifth-highest ranked.

    Hell, the Czech Republic have a more favorable draw than the second-, third- AND fifth- highest ranked, though two of those three are going to get through anyway. I think the idea should be to determine which are the best teams. The eight teams that get to the elimination round should be as close as possible to the best eight in the group stage, though of course that's not going to be literally possible to determine using this group format. As it is right now though, going in we already know with overwhelming certainty that it won't be the case. That's a broken system, in my view.

    (edited by TheBucsFan on 3.12.11 1525)



Hmmmm, but how do you determine who the best teams are? You either end up with something like the BCS (and that would be bloody awful), or you only use the FIFA rankings, which are equally as rubbish (England are not, and haven't been for a very long time, the 5th best team in the world)
JayJayDean
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.97
    Originally posted by Captain Ferret
      Originally posted by JayJayDean
        Originally posted by Captain Ferret
        (hence France being in the fourth seeds)


      France wasn't the fourth seed - the Dutch were. France was put into pot #4 with their UEFA ranking of 12th.



    That's what I said.


My bad. I didn't read that as closely as I should have.



Holy fuck shit motherfucker shit. Read comics. Fuck shit shit fuck shit I sold out when I did my job. Fuck fuck fuck shit fuck. Sorry had to do it....

*snip*

Revenge of the Sith = one thumb up from me. Fuck shit. I want to tittie fuck your ass.
-- The Guinness. to Cerebus
dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.57
Generally speaking the way they do things is just fine. The only (slight) issue here is because you've got two hosts they take up two of the top seed slots which increases the chances of a weaker group - particularly because the reason you have two hosts is because neither of them's a 'bigger' nation.

FIFA rankings are a terrible guide to how good a football team is so using them as the sole factor in the draw would be a bad idea. Besides, it's cup football and there's meant to be a degree of randomness in it. A Group of Death has been a staple of the Euros and World Cup since ever. I'd hate for that to change.

The simplest solution (to a problem I don't think really exists anyway) would just be to stop making hosts top seeds by default, but I don't see that happening any time soon. Like automatic qualification, it comes with the gig and while it may not be fair, tournaments usually are a lot more fun when the hosts have a decent run.

    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    I feel bad for Denmark, who has no chance in hell of advancing past this group


Based on the recent qualifying, you should feel even more sorry for Portugal.

Edit - forgot to add, hosts don't play competitive games for the best part of two years so that negatively impacts their ranking in any event.


(edited by dMr on 4.12.11 0112)
odessasteps
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.03
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
      Originally posted by Captain Ferret
      If you want a full on random draw, watch out for tomorrow's FA Cup 3rd round draw


    I'm not sure you've actually read what I wrote. I did not and would not advocate a random draw. It's just a slight hint of randomness (not really random, I know) that has given the Czech Republic, the third-lowest ranked team in this pool, a more favorable draw than Portugal, the fourth- or fifth-highest ranked.

    Hell, the Czech Republic have a more favorable draw than the second-, third- AND fifth- highest ranked, though two of those three are going to get through anyway. I think the idea should be to determine which are the best teams. The eight teams that get to the elimination round should be as close as possible to the best eight in the group stage, though of course that's not going to be literally possible to determine using this group format. As it is right now though, going in we already know with overwhelming certainty that it won't be the case. That's a broken system, in my view.



Is it much worse than an NFL team having the second best record in the league, but being in the division with the best, so they get a wild card and a team in another division gets to be seeded with an 8-8 record?

I pretty agree with what people said today and the second host muddied the pools. I assume something similar happened with the 2002 World Cup, when you had Japan and South Korea as co-hosts.



Mark Coale
Odessa Steps Magazine presents


RUSSIAN FLAG BURIAL - an examination of 1984 mid-south


dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.57
    Originally posted by odessasteps
    I assume something similar happened with the 2002 World Cup, when you had Japan and South Korea as co-hosts.
Sorta, although in the World Cup co-hosts make up only two out of eight rather than two of four top seeds so it's less pronounced.

I remember England, Argentina, Sweden and Nigeria was labelled the Group of Death. Japan, Russia, Belgium and Tunisia was probably the weakest group on paper.

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