Octagonal for 2006 qualifying

Discussion in 'CONCACAF' started by photar74, Jul 29, 2002.

  1. photar74

    photar74 New Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    West Philly
    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

    -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

    -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.
  2. Preston North End

    Feb 17, 2000
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    WCQ for 1998 should not have as much impact on WCQ for 2006 as you give it. No side from 1998 will be what it was '98 as it will be in 2004.

    More credence should be placed on the WCQ's for 2002 and the 2003 Gold Cup. Kind of what UEFA did to set the groups for Euro 2004 qualifying. They based the seeding on qualifying records during Euro 2000 qualifying and WCQ 2002.

    Take the overall WCQ record, though from the semifinals on - from 2002 (ranked 1-12) and combine it with the final results from the 2003 Gold Cup (ranked 1-??).

    Your top four would get the bye to the Octagonal. #5-8 get the bye into the semifinal round.

    This could or would mess up the numbers for the prelim rounds, but the format you created could easily be adjusted.

    Current Rankings, awaiting the 2003 Gold Cup final classification...

    1. Costa Rica
    2. Mexico
    3. Honduras
    4. United States
    5. Jamaica
    6. Trinidad & Tobago
    7. Guatemala
    8. El Salvador
    9. Canada
    10. Barbados
    11. Panama
    12. St. Vincent & Grenedines
  3. bigshow

    bigshow Member

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shouldn't the USA be rated ahead of Honduras?
  4. photar74

    photar74 New Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    West Philly
    I would agree. Considering that the USA finished ahead of Honduras in both qualifying (3rd rather than 4th) and won the most recent Gold Cup, how exactly does Honduras outrank the USA in your system?

    Anyway, I am aware that the rankings and seedings can be adjusted. Still, the clear dominance that Jamaica, USA, Mexico and Costa Rica have demonstrated over the past two round of qualifying cannot be ignored. They were the only teams to make the hex both times, and they are the only teams to make the WC from CONCACAF in the last four round of qualifying.

    Basically, I wanted to seed those teams because they are the reason why CONCACAF deserves 3.5 instead of 3.0. They are the four nations that earned the extra space--why shouldn't they reap the benefits by being seeded in the final round? Jamaica won a game in the WC--Honduras didn't.
  5. Dixie

    Dixie New Member

    Jul 25, 2002
    Tallahassee, Florida
    The US should be rated #1-3. Also you can't put as much stock into the Gold Cup as UEFA puts into the European Championships. Its not the same and it just isn't nearly as important to the sides involved.
  6. CrewDust

    CrewDust Member

    May 6, 1999
    Columbus, Ohio
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If we get 3.5 then we should stick with the current system with the four place team in the playoff. If we get 4, then I would like to see the semi round have four groups of sixteen and then two groups of 4 going for the four spots.
  7. Tick

    Tick Member

    Sep 30, 2000
    Rochester, NY
    CrewDust, I much prefer photar's plan over multiple groups. The draw decides too much in multiple groups, whereas in a single group like the current hex, things are more fair.

    Otherwise we'll have something like Asia and Europe had this time, where the draw dictates who qualifies (Holland vs. Poland, Iran vs. China).
  8. Preston North End

    Feb 17, 2000
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I counted all points achieved from the semifinal round on...which is what I originally posted.

    How do you not reward Honduras? They finish 3 points behind Jamaica and 2 behind Mexico in the semifinal round for 1998?

    Look at Guatemala this go round. They took Costa Rica to a playoff.

    Split the ranking 1-6 and 7-12 based on who made the hex and who didn't, but classify them based on total points (which would split them more often than not anyway).

    The seeding system should reward those that are playing well now -Honduras - not those that did something six years ago (1998 -> 2004), such as Jamaica.

    Well I think you can put much stock in the Gold Cup.

    The U.S. won it this go round by defeating who? Costa Rica.

    It's not a surprise that both performed well at the World Cup.

    BTW, the Gold Cup will be in the summer of 2003. No club conflicts. Every side will bring their full team, at least they should. If not they will end up going home early like Mexico did.
    This is so true, it even happens in the semifinal round of CONCACAF...see Honduras in 1998 and Guatemala in 2002. Both were better than the two sides that finished bottom of the hex in the corresponding years. Honduras was better than both Canada & El Salvador in 1998 (technically 1997) and Guatemala was better than Jamaica and T&T this go round.
  9. photar74

    photar74 New Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    West Philly
    I still think Jamaica should be seeded in the top four and not Honduras. I know many people do not believe that looking at results from the two previous WCs is relevant, since '96-'98 was so long ago. However, I believe that viewing only results from the previous WC campaign would be far too statistically unstable. In many cases, you reduce a team's seeding to their performance in less than ten games. Adding in the data from the previous two WCs does far more to stabilize the seeding system simply by including twice as much data.

    Anyway, here are my current CONCACAF rankings (based solely on WC qualifying, since the seeds would only be given out in WC qualifying). I simply added up how many points each team acquired during the the semifinal and final rounds of qualifying for '98 and '02:

    1. Mexico (58)
    2. USA (58)
    3. Costa Rica (57)
    4. Jamaica (46)
    5. Honduras (37)
    6. El Salvador (29)
    7. Canada (27)
    8. T & T (21)
    9. Gautemala (18)
    10. Panama (6)
    11. Barbados (3)
    12. Cuba (3)
    13. St. Vincent & G (0)
    14. Haiti (0)
    15. Dominican Republic (0)
    16. St. Kitts and Nevis (0)
    17. Antigua & Barduda (0)

    This list certainly doesn't make a 16-team Gold Cup very appealing, does it? The tiebreaakers were:

    1. Number of points acquired in previous WC.
    2. Number of points acquired in previous two WCs.
    3. Number of points acquired in previous hex.
    4. Number of points acquired in previous two hexes.
    5. Number of points acquired in previous semifinal.
    6. Number of home-away knockout round matches won in past two qualifying campaigns.
    7. Total goal difference in previous two WCQ campaigns.
    8. FIFA World Ranking
  10. Alex_1

    Alex_1 Member

    Mar 29, 2002
    Grasshopper Club Zürich
    Nat'l Team:
    Good luck with making the rankings for this confederation. The only constants that I can see is that basically North America has a free ride into the final round of qualifying (which it should, really). Even Canada... who won the Gold Cup before the US did before then flopped during qualifying... they must be kicking their half-wit manager.

    Consistency shows as others suggest that the perennial top finishers in Gold Cup and WCQ have been Mexico, the United States, COsta Rica, Jamaica with Honduras on the outside looking in. Potential upcomers are Guatemala and possibly El Salvador. I don't really see a resurrection in Trinidad (don't let my girlfriend here that...) until Dr. Evil himself is removed from CONCACAF power.

    But how do you get to that point? Hmm... I'll leave it to you statisticians. But I do agree with the qualification system in place now that weeds out the minnows rather easily instead of subjecting them to 10-0 thrashings. I wish that Europe could adopt a similar system but the infrastructure of the leagues/schedule simply would never allow that. C'est levie
  11. Tick

    Tick Member

    Sep 30, 2000
    Rochester, NY
    Okay, an idea for a compromise:

    Double the points from 02 plus the points from 98. That considers a lot of results and weights recent games more than old games.

    I agree that the Gold Cup is hard to factor in due to the US hosting every time.
  12. Alberto

    Alberto Member+

    Feb 28, 2000
    Northern, New Jersey
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just remember the Gold Cup is played in California and Florida, so the team that benefits most is Mexico (they always play in California). For everyone else it is a neutral site in that the fans will by and large have equal representation from their fans.
  13. photar74

    photar74 New Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    West Philly
    I think this makes sense.

    So with this new system, here are the new rankings:

    1. Mexico: 90
    2. Costa Rica: 90
    3. USA: 86
    4. Honduras: 68
    5. Jamaica: 67
    6. T & T: 41
    7. El Salvador: 38
    8. Canada: 32
    9. Guatemala: 28
    10. Panama: 7
    11. Barbados: 6
    12. Cuba: 3
    13. St. Vincent & G: 0
    14. Haiti: 0
    15. Antigua & Barbuda: 0
    16. St. Kitts & Nevis: 0
    17. Dominican Republic: 0

    So, if everything went to form, in the semifinals, Jamaica, T & T, El Salvador and Canada would face the following groups of seeds:

    2 seeds: Guatemala, Panama, Barbados, Cuba

    3 seeds: St. Vincent, Haiti, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis

    Hmmm.. that means that there could be a semifinal of Jamaica, Guatemala and Haiti, where only one team reaches the octagonal.

    Perhaps more tweaking is needed.
  14. Preston North End

    Feb 17, 2000
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think including next year's Gold Cup would be beneficial.

    I actually hope it's not in the US, but in Central America (have Honduras host two groups, Costa Rica host two groups). But this is not the point really.

    The Gold Cup is the CONCACAF championship. It needs to be treated that way. It being moved to the summer will help with this.

    It being in summer will allow all sides to send their "A" team (no more Mexico scrubs like in 2002). And if you make it a seeding component of the WCQ - which UEFA does - more importance by the National Federations will be put on it.

    WCQ are not the only important games CONCACAF sides play. The Gold Cup is also important.
  15. Jose L. Couso

    Jose L. Couso New Member

    Jul 31, 2000
    Arlington, VA
    Final round of 8 (in finishing order):

    1. USA
    2. Honduras
    3. Costa Rica
    4. Mexico
    5. Jamaica
    6. Guatemala
    7. Canada
    8. El Salvador
  16. photar74

    photar74 New Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    West Philly

    I just think this has become relevant again, considering some recent discussions on this board.

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