|Rank||Team|| Pts: |
| +/-Pts: |
As is often the case, the more interesting stories are found a little lower in the table. This month, I've directed my attention to Jamaica's surprising 20-place jump in the rankings, to 57th. With 3 wins and a loss during the most recent window, this seems to make sense. But look a little closer at their results:
|Jamaica (JAM)||2:1 (2:1)||Canada (CAN)|
|Jamaica (JAM)||2:0 (2:0)||Haiti (HAI)|
|Jamaica (JAM)||1:2 (0:0)||St. Vincent and the Grenadines (VIN)|
|Jamaica (JAM)||4:0 (4:0)||St. Lucia (LCA)|
Going in reverse chronological order, we have a friendly win over Canada, a side ranked 6 spots higher than Jamaica in September (Jamaica was 77th, Canada 71st). A home friendly win over a similarly ranked team has a negligible effect on points accumulated, as seen by the opposite result, a 1:0 victory for Canada over Jamaica in Montreal in September, which didn't shoot the Canadians up the rankings.
It is the first 3 results, then, that did the job. Scorelines of 2:0 and 4:0 are impressive, but keep in mind that, in September's rankings Haiti and St. Lucia were ranked 118th and 115th respectively. A loss at home, in a regional qualifier, to St. Vincent and Grenadines (129th in September) is a terrible result, and yet it was not enough to prevent a jump nearly into the top 50.
That Jamaica failed to qualify for the Gold Cup from their group, which they hosted, is an enormous failure, and yet they are rewarded with one of the biggest jumps of the month.
The mind boggles.