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Quick Sim Update

November 21st, 2009 · 67 Comments

Have finished writing the code for the World Cup Simulations. Some features in this one:

1. 10,000 sims as usual.
2. Results of all 640,000 matches in dump file.
3. Win percentages for each team in both percentage and fractional odds form.
4. Current version alternates between CONMEBOL/CAF and CONMEBOL/AFC/OFC composition of pots. Will change when we know for sure which is which
5. Penalties decided by coin flip.
6. New match simulator using a binomial function instead of Poisson (this further reduces the problem of underrating favorites).

Will try and get a full roll out by tomorrow. Unsurprisingly, Brazil are the tournament favorites winning roughly a quarter of the time.

→ 67 CommentsTags: Soccer!! · South Africa 2010 · Uncategorized

End of the Road to South Africa

November 18th, 2009 · 10 Comments

Congratulations to All 32 Countries [Read more →]

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Road to South Africa 12

November 17th, 2009 · 20 Comments

Three more teams are in, the final six will be known by tomorrow night.

The updated National Team Rankings can be found here.

Full qualification chances can be found here. [Read more →]

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Road to South Africa 11

November 13th, 2009 · 25 Comments

Okay, there’s 9 spots left, 4 in Europe, 3 in Africa and 2 more in playoffs between Asia and Oceania and North and South America.

An important note: One minor change has been made to the National Team rankings. In the explanation to the rating system posted earlier, I explained that I needed to convert goal scoring to a number between 0 and 1. To do that I divided goals by the number ‘180.’ That number has been changed to 27. Why? Well because it appears to work better, it covers every single score in the history of international soccer and it also makes a favorite like Slovenia was over San Marino less likely to drop points (but not by a lot). For now that’s the only change I’m making as other changes have proven to be a little more complicated and I need time to work on them.

The updated National Team Rankings can be found here.

Full qualification chances can be found here. [Read more →]

→ 25 CommentsTags: Soccer!! · South Africa 2010 · Uncategorized

Rest Area on the Road to South Africa

October 15th, 2009 · 51 Comments

I’m going to do this one in separate parts, because I think it’s wise to wait until the draw at the start of next week before diving into the playoff percentages in UEFA. This will also give me a few days to try out a couple of minor adjustments to help tweak things a bit. So for this we’ll simply talk about what happened today and it’s possible upcoming implications. No ratings or sims or percentages until next week when we have the playoff draw in hand. [Read more →]

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A Quick Update on the “Big Favorite” Problem (e.g. Portugal vs. Malta, Slovenia vs. San Marino, etc.)

October 13th, 2009 · 26 Comments

I looked at the source data from which the ratings are derived (6,972 international matches from October 12, 2001 to October 11, 2009) and compared the predicted results in those games to the actual results.

Now to fully test the system, you’d have to test it against a subset of data not used in the source data (for obvious reasons). But I’m not trying to do that here. What I’m really looking for is a built in bias that has nothing to do with how well it will predict what will happen, but rather how well it matches up with what has already happened. [Read more →]

→ 26 CommentsTags: Soccer!! · South Africa 2010 · Uncategorized

Road to South Africa 10

October 12th, 2009 · 28 Comments

One game left in the group stages and lots of teams getting in and heading out. Who stepped on their plums, and who rose to the occasion?

The updated National Team Rankings can be found here.

Full qualification chances can be found here. [Read more →]

→ 28 CommentsTags: Soccer!! · South Africa 2010 · Uncategorized

Update Update

October 10th, 2009 · 2 Comments

There are several games in Africa on Sunday and one in South America (though that one is meaningless). So I’ll wait for these games to be finished before running an update. Obviously there’s been a lot of qualifications and eliminations, but I’d rather not do three separate updates this week.

I’ll do everything I can to get one up by Sunday Night (Phoenix, Arizona time).

Also ALVARO WINS!

→ 2 CommentsTags: Soccer!! · South Africa 2010 · Uncategorized

Russia vs Germany

October 8th, 2009 · 13 Comments

So how do I predict the results of a match with these ratings?

This is the huge one with two world powers vying for automatic qualification to South Africa next year. How would I sim this game?

Well let’s look up what ratings we had at the last pull (they will have changed very little since).

Column 1 is the Offensive rating for every team. This is simply how many goals they can be expected to score, not necessarily an evaluation of their attacking players. Sometimes good offense leads to goals, sometimes good defense does. Usually it’s some combination of the two (though admittedly more goals suggests better attackers without confirming it). Germany’s 1.78 is good for second in the rankings, a good bit behind Brazil. Russia’s 1.34 is pretty good as well, but off the pace some. On defense Germany is 192.74, while Russia is quite close at 180.64. [Read more →]

→ 13 CommentsTags: Soccer!! · South Africa 2010 · Uncategorized

The National Team Rating System Explanation

October 5th, 2009 · 21 Comments

Just what the hell am I doing back in the vorosmccracken.com command bunker when I’m running all of these ratings and simulations?

Now I’m not going to bother pretending I know anything about the effects subtle tactical and formation changes have on the outcome of a match. That’s not what I do. I’m a numbers guy and that’s how the analysis is going to be done.

If you really don’t care what precisely is going on, but have looked over the ratings and decided that they seem reasonable enough to you, you might want to stop here. This post will be long and a bit technical, so if this kind of explanation doesn’t interest you then you don’t have to continue. [Read more →]

→ 21 CommentsTags: Soccer!! · South Africa 2010 · Uncategorized