Power Ranking the Reasons Why Power Rankings in Soccer Are Silly
Power rankings are a staple of American sports coverage no matter whether it is in football, ice hockey, baseball or basketball. They are another way to create more buzz and discussions among sports fans as at the end of the day, it's all about being at the top of the rankings, particularly in college sports. However, soccer, particularly European soccer clubs, are not split into domestic ‘conferences’ like the MLS, are not power ranked in the European media. This is an ESPNization of sports analysis of a very un-american sport that is unnecessary for the following reasons.
4. There is no BCS or March Madness
In soccer, there are no competitions that require entrance through selection by a committee who have watched you all year and in the case of Boise State will never get selected anyway because they do not have a high enough ‘strength of schedule.’ The ranking of college sports is a particularly obnoxious way to decide who are the greatest teams, there are so many hundreds of college teams it seems impossible that every member of the committee has seen every game. There is also a great deal of bias within these rankings due to which conference the school is from.
Texas Christian University missed out on a shot at the title because the BCS deemed Oregon and Auburn were better, undoubtedly because they were from bigger conferences and had bigger fan bases. It would be impossible to say Lyon is better than Bayern Munich just because they won a lesser league without them actually playing each other.
3. Soccer Is More of a Team Sport
Soccer is more of a team sport and therefore if a team loses a player, it is not going to hurt them in the same way as if the Patriots lost Tom Brady. This takes out American sports reliance/obsession with superstar players and has made it easy to think more about the squad than a one, two or three man team, which many franchises appear to be. There are no ‘big threes’ in soccer. Just because a team has a few good players does not automatically make it near the top of the rankings, see Tottenham Hotspur for the past decade before last season.
2. There Are No Seeded Playoffs in Domestic Competitions
There are no seeded playoffs in domestic competitions which make power rankings superfluous. Admittedly, there are seedings in the Champions league but they are based on previous success in the competition. Power rankings have no point when this is the case and merely just serve as an annoyance to fans and are completely pointless until they actually play.
1. There Is a League Table and Everyone Plays the Same Schedule
Surely, the power ranking for soccer is easily solved by just looking at the league table. Once you are into the season, the better teams rise to the top and worse ones fall to the bottom, it is a simple science that does not need pundits jiggling it around as it is an insult to the structure of a very fair competition format. In the NBA, the Western Conference is undoubtedly stronger. However, in the European soccer leagues, you just play every team the same amount of times home and away.