When you can’t find it on Google.

My World Cup predictions

I’ve been unusually busy with job hunting and working this week, but I do have a couple minutes to keep you updated on the biggest sporting event in the world. It’s easier to follow the results than you might think, particularly if you use these handy scoresheets and websites – and it’s been much more predictable so far than the NCAA tournament has ever been!

WC2010 Excel screenshot
Excel Template World Cup 2010 clip (click for all drop.io files)

Until this year, I never paid attention to the Group Stages of the tournament. If you want to just skip ahead to the Round of 16 (the start of the knockout stage) predictions, you’ll have to wait until the evening of Friday June 25th. I’ll probably have another World Cup blog on the 22nd, possibly posting my revised knockout stage predictions. Here’s what I did to put in a half-educated prediction of the full tournament results:

  1. See the Wikipedia page for details on how the seeding first two weeks of games works.
  2. Print out the official Match Schedule (PDF) and take a look at the US TV listings to get an idea of the overall timeframe.
  3. I’m no soccer (officially designated as “association football”) expert, but the official Castrol’s FIFA World Cup Predictor Challenge makes it easy to pick the winner by showing some sort of prediction scale for each game. I’ve gone generally by their predictions and haven’t been wrong yet (unless you count ties, which there’s been 3 of already in the first four days of this month-long tournament). Also take a look at the October 2009 rankings of teams (I haven’t been able to find the official seeds for the Cup, though). Once you’ve made your predictions, the Yahoo! fantasy grid seems to be the easiest site to review your results as the tourny progresses (I haven’t tried ESPN’s fantasy site).
  4. Copy your predictions to this handy World Cup 2010 Schedule and Scoresheet in Excel, then print it on the other side of your Match Schedule from step 2 above. There are several other Excel spreadsheet templates you can download, but this is probably the only one-page version you can find; plus, it automatically calculates rankings and results as you enter them in… and the file is only 128 KB if you download the group-sorted version. You can take a look at my predictions on this drop (screenshot above). To make things I little easier for me, I manually wrote in the rankings for each team in the right column.

Video of the day: adidas Originals – Star Wars™ Cantina 2010

For quick updates, I’ve found the daily recaps from Soccer By Ives to be a nice way to read through results and watch videos. So that’s a datahead’s way of tracking the World Cup. How do you do it?

<UPDATE Jun25> Added my knockout round predictions to the drop (WC-group-16 files). Basically, I’ve got the top four as USA, Spain, Brazil, Germany. </UPDATE>