I made two mistakes with the first Power Rankings - I didn't think that Drogba would be back, and I misread the brackets leading to the semifinals. Both of those have been corrected.
The biggest stories of the World Cup so far are all related - the lack of goals, the lack of upsets (other than Spain), and the lack of dominant performances (other than Germany). When the draw was made, the tournament seemed set up to have a mediocre group stage but set up for some titanic encounters in the knockout rounds. The first round of games was hit especially hard by this, with many of the contenders playing their toughest opponents and settling for the draw: USA/ENG, ITA/PAR, CIV/POR, and FRA/URU.
Notably, every single one of the contenders got either a win or a reasonable draw, so the top eight in my Power Rankings are almost the same teams as before, in a different order, even if Korea did look better than France. Another set of matches may yield bigger changes - or the powers could assert themselves. Except, of course, for Spain.
Things should open up more now, especially with a few of the disappointing teams like Cameroon, Denmark, Serbia, and Portugal being forced to attack. Top three matches to watch:
- France v Mexico
- Argentina v South Korea
- USA v Slovenia