Ahhh... how I miss of my poor, long-lost posts! The system I came up with was certainly one of my five or ten best pre-crash posts. Anyway, if anyone still cares, here's the system I developed. It was designed to accommodate CONCACAF qualifying if our beloved confederation was allocated either 3.5 (which is what it deserves) or 4.0 (which is what you ask for in order to get 3.5) spaces for 2006. Its benefits include: -A single table during the final round of qualifying, which is always more exciting and more fair than multiple groups. -No team has to play more matches to qualify than they do under the current system, and almost every team would actually have to play less. -Due to the previous benefit, the financial burden of WC qualifying would be reduced for poor federations (unless one of them shockingly made the octagonal). -It continues to respect the regional differences that exist within CONCACAF. -It increases the chances that currently strong, but not world class, nations such as Canada and Guatemala will be able to play more matches against world class competition (and improve as a result). Thus, the system would theoretically increase the strength of CONCACAF as a confederation, at least in terms of depth. -It increases the chances that the world-class CONCACAF nations such as Mexico, USA and Costa Rica will play fewer games against weak competition (and improve as a result). Thus, the system would theoretically improve CONCACAF as a confederation, at least in terms of strength at the top. Well, judge for yourself, if you still have anything to say about it. Enjoy! CONCACAF Qualifying 35 teams, 3.5 spaces Preliminaries (27 teams, two zones) “Caribbean Zone” -23 teams, six qualify for semifinals -Five brackets of four, one bracket of three -Home and away knockout, bracket champ advances. -Top seed overall (Cuba?) will be in the three team bracket, automatically advancing to final of that bracket. “Central American Zone” -4 teams, 2 qualify for semifinals. -Home and away knockout. -Panamá vs. Belize, Guatemala vs. Nicaragua Semifinals -Twelve teams: eight preliminary winners plus Honduras, El Salvador, Canada and T & T. -Four groups of three, home and away round robin. -The four auto qualifiers are to be the top seeds in each group. -Group winner advances Finals -Eight teams: four semifinals winners plus Mexico, Costa Rica, USA and Jamaica. -Home and away round robin. -Top three automatically qualify; fourth place enters a playoff vs. CONMEBOL fifth place. I should point out that the teams who qualified for either of the last two WCs were automatically placed in the octagonal (these four teams also were the only ones to make the hex in both '97 and '01). The four teams that reached the hex in one of the last two qualifying runs but did not reach the WC were placed as the seeded teams in the semifinals.