About once a month someone comes on Big Soccer and proceeds to rip the FIFA Rankings a new one. They say they are "meaningless" and so forth. Generally I wind up defending the FIFA rankings not because they're great, but because the rankings have importance, do the job reasonably well, and are certainly an improvement on the subjective way these people would generally rank the teams. But the reality is that the FIFA system does have plenty of holes once you look into how it works. There are other systems out there, but they actually seem to not be any improvement on FIFA's system (ELO Rankings as an example). I think the biggest problems these other systems suffer from is that they usually advertise themselves as "simple" or "easy." Of course that's the wrong standard to aspire to. The correct standard is "accurate" even if it's a bit convoluted. My system is simple , the _competitive_ matches for each international side are gathered up. Competitive matches are: World Cup matches, Inter Confed World Cup play ins, World Cup qualifiers, Confederation championships and Confederation qualifiers. Small tournaments (like Confed. Cup or CECAFA Cup) and friendlies are not counted, because essentially the results are meaningless and most teams treat the matches as such, and use them as opportunities to run out new players and so forth. Each game has a multiplier based on the importance of the match, with each world cup game having a multiplier of 1 and all the rest being below that number. (There is plenty of room for argument on this, which I'll get to later, but the line has to be drawn somehow). For each match, two things matter: the result (Win, Lose or Draw) and the Goal differential. Each counts for half (the average non-drawn match has a goal differential of 2.3 so if you win the match, your adj goal differential for the match is the average of the actual gola differential and 2.3). Since both are important in advancing in tournaments and the difference between a 1-0 and 5-0 win do tell you different things about the opposition, I feel this is correct (though the weight of each can be debated). All of these adj. goal differentials are totaled and every team loses .62 off this total for each home game and gains .62 to this total for each road game. This total is divided by the number of games for the club giving you the average adjusted goal differential per game for each team. But, you say, each team plays different caliber of schedules. That's correct. If we just stopped at the above, the best rated team would be Australia, Bermuda would be second, Syria would be third and fourth would be Myanmar. Clearly wrong. Here's where it gets hairy and couldn't be done without a computer. The method used for adjusting for strength of schedule has been used in American Football ratings systems for a while now. What you do is total up the average adjusted goal differentials for your opponents. Subtract the goal differential for a theoretically "average" club and then add that number to the team's adjusted goal differential, and now you have a new rating. Are we done? No. The problem is since everyone has new ratings now, each teams strength of schedule will change with the new ratings. And so what you do is continue to do the above process over and over again until all the ratings stabilize (IE, nobody's ratings changes). Around 500 iterations will definitely do the trick. After that's done, you have your ratings. my system adjusts this method slightly by using multipliers on games so that some games count as "more games" than others. The multipliers are both for the type of tournament the game is in and also how long ago the match was. Will post this now, and continue with more posts regarding resulks and potential improvements.