Everyone posts about it, everyone writes about it. In fact, the notion that confederation X has “earned” Y number of allocations through play on the field is one of the bigger clichés of this entire board. However, usually whenever someone makes a claim about “deserved” or “earned” allocations, they do one of three things: fail to produce their rationale; fail to follow their rationale all the way through; fail to offer a convincing rationale. What I hope can happen with this thread is that we can collectively develop a statistical system that would at least come close to determining how many allocations each confederation actually does “deserve.” It is my hope that this system would be transparent to the casual observer, that it would be thorough, and that in so doing it would still contain a minimum number of assumptions. In order to develop such a system, we would need to answer the following preliminary questions: 1. What data should be included, in terms of time span? 2. What data should be included, in terms of competition? 3. How much, if any, should various portions of the data be weighted? Since this system seeks only to determine how many spaces each confederation has come to “deserve” strictly through play upon the field, considerations such as population, money, and FIFA politics will not be taken into account.