|Trinidad & Tobago||50||56|
|Serbia & Montenegro||47||26|
Using the FIFA rankings, the groups ranked from strongest to easiest are: E (72), F (85), D (95), A and C (tied with 96), B (103), H (106) and G (125). The combo-rank gives a different order: F (70), C (76), E (84), A (91), B (94), D (109), H (119) and G (133). All of a sudden, my boys (that is, the Dutch, in Group C) don't seem to have such a cushy group. Perhaps because FIFA, whose rankings factor in a team's performance over 8 years, undervalue up-and-coming teams like Serbia and Montenegro (47th) in comparison with the other three ranking systems examined (24th, 19th, 18th). Group D ranks much weaker by the 2nd method because the historical performances of a team like Mexico are given far more weight by FIFA (5th) than the rest (16th, 20th, 16th).
Still, I stand by my quick picks to advance: Germany and Poland (Group A), England and Paraguay (B), Argentina and the Netherlands (C), Mexico and Portugal (D), Italy and the Czech Republic (E), Brazil and Japan (F), France and Switzerland (G) and Spain and Tunisia (H).