Even wishful thinking leads to plausible FIFA World Cup rankings!

June 9, 2018

The 2018 FIFA World Cup begins next week. In an era of sports analytics, legalized gambling, and online bracket challenges (thanks March Madness), it’s time for many of us to sit down and make our own World Cup predictions.Motivated by an off-the-cuff ranking exercise that I assigned in my undergraduate course on soccer analytics earlier this Spring, I describe a ranking method that results from focusing on the country that…