The AFC South as 2010 World Cup's Group of Death: Who Matches the Jags?

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The AFC South as 2010 World Cup's Group of Death: Who Matches the Jags?

Every four years, Americans' annual summer-long gridiron football withdrawal is relieved (for those open-minded among us) by the World Cup—association football's biggest event, something like the love child of the Super Bowl and the Olympics.

Before its final tournament, the Cup starts with a group stage which, despite the whole "can't-use-your-hands" thing, bears a striking resemblance to the NFL and its divisional structure:

Eight groups, four teams in each. Round-robin play. Top divisional dogs advance.

Inevitably, one or two of those groups bundles three or four of the world's best teams together, pitting them against one another for two spots in the knockout stage. These are called, (melo)dramatically, "groups of death."

The AFC South, to its credit, has a lot in common with Group G, the 2010 World Cup's consensus group of death which starts play Tuesday. Aside from the almost inevitable short-changing of a strong third place team, the four in each make interesting parallels across the two kinds of football.

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