Sunday, February 10, 2008

UF Weekend Poll

Once a week, we poll ourselves to find answers to the burning questions of the football world. We are, of course, experts in the field, so the results can be taken as definitive. This week: The Top Ten domestic leagues around the world.

1. English Premier League. The surprisingly unanimous #1. The reasoning varied for some, but for the most part we agreed that it is the most dynamic and unpredictable of the top tier leagues. Any squad (save Derby this season) has a chance to defeat another squad on the schedule. Also gets bonus points for the attractiveness of the game as well as being broadcast in English.

2. Spanish La Liga. La Liga was a strong second choice among participating UFers. Cited for laving a "Latin style, but fast", one of us docked it from beating out the EPL because there are simply too many theatrics in the pitch. Consistently one of the most watchable leagues, no matter which teams are playing.

3. German Bundesliga. 3 and 4 were a dogfight between Germany and Italy, with the Bundesliga taking the honors. I, for one, said that the difference was in the crowds. German stadiums are consistently packed with raucous crowds, while Italian crowds tend to depend on who the opponent is. Others rated it because of its history, and not so much for what it is now.

4. Italian Serie A. The definition of a league coasting on its reputation. Most of us hate to watch it, but we all seem to respect it. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the very same reputation of years past still brings the best players from around the world to play, and get paid. Points were also docked for the general perceived dirtiness of the league and its ownership, with scandals abounding seemingly every decade.

5. French Ligue 1. There was a pretty hefty drop from the Top 4 down to France. The domination of Lyon definitely hurts its standing as a league. We do see it as a great league for incoming African players to get a chance to prove themselves.

6. Dutch Eredivisie. The Eredivisie, though not strong all the way through, deserves respect as a Euro league which does a great job at developing young talent. Players come here as raw teenagers and leave to the bigger leagues as finished talents. The prime hunting ground for larger leagues looking for new talent.

7. Argentine Primera Division. The highest rated non-European league. Argentina gets picked not just for its top teams like Boca and River, but also for its fanatical followings all the way through. Besides, no other league at this level can cite the openness of the league to teams winning titles. Recent seasons have seen teams lime Lanus and Newell's win titles, the rough equivalent of Middlesbrough or Newcastle winning in the EPL.

8. Portuguese Liga. Another league defined by its exports to other leagues. See Cristiano Ronaldo. Also, for a smaller league, these are teams that tend to do well in Europe. Besides, this is the league of Freddy Adu, someone most of us want to see do well.

9. Major League Soccer. There was a big drop in points here, but MLS did show up on over half of the submitted ballots. Some see this as a league on the rise, with the Beckham signing giving it validation. Others voted for it to spite Mexico. Whatever, it all works.

10. English Conference. See kids, this is how a single outlier vote can affect your statistics within a small sample size. Always take as large a sample as you can.

Others receiving multiple votes: Mexico, Scotland, English Championship,

Others receiving single votes: Brazil, Russia, Greece, any Women's league, Turkey, USL, MISL, Hyundai A-League (because it's fun to say).


jjf3 said...

Random thought - could/should anyone have envisioned a decade ago that Mexico's Primera could have single-handedly killed MLS? Was there just NO visionary there? Or did he/she get silenced? Just curious...

Given the salaries they can afford, why did they not absolutely shut down MLS? They could have stolen the entire audience ahead of America slowly becoming predominantly Hispanic...

As for the poll, no real issues until missing Mexico ahead of MLS, though its currently a very close battle. MLS will overtake Mexico soon, and I think we can eventually make it into the Italy-France gap, but it will take serious time to happen...

Bigus Dickus said...

The english championshipu has the second highest attendances in europe after the premier league with germany and italy 3rd and 4th. Its standards of football must rank it higher than mls
Portugal and holland. Currently anyone 3 from 15 teams could go up. Now thats competitive.

Spectator said...

Hurrah for skewed statistics!

The NY Kid said...

As a statistician by trade, I must protest these results (i.e. France should be higher). Of course, I was too lazy to get my vote in, so there is that.