Brazil to Win the 2006 World Cup, Say Tech-Driven Prognosticators

Opinion: The world is waiting to see who will win the soccer tournament, and IT is on the case.

"Well, that 2006 World Cup sure was exciting. Brazil took the top honors, of course, just as the prediction engines claimed before the first kickoff."

Sound likely? A lot of people think so.

Ive been looking at a couple of the predictions coming from those World Cup addicts who also have computers and Ive put together a list of favorites. Ive also got three favorite teams in the World Cup tourney and I was anxious to see how they turned out.

/zimages/2/28571.gifTo read about how Isilon helped NBC carry out its marathon broadcast of the Winter Olympics, click here.

Decision Technology (a London-based company affiliated with the University of Warwick) turned its powerful prediction tools toward soccer (and from here on out, Ill call it football, same as the rest of the world) at the 2002 World Cup.

Since then the company has claimed to have calculated odds for nearly 10,000 U.K.-based and international matches. For a PDF of the report click here, but Ill give you Decisions bottom line: Brazil is the current favorite with a 13 percent chance.

However, as the company notes, that leaves an 87 percent chance for someone else. Although it scoffs at the idea, it even mentions Trinidad as a possible winner, although the report also predicts that when the last whistle is blown, Trinidad will be at the bottom of the pile.

Trinidad is one of my favorites, as one of the players is the son of a striker on a team I occasionally play on, battered knee permitting. My other two favorites—Sweden and the United States—get stuck in the middle.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read about computer viruses that prey on World Cup fans.

But one set of number crunchers out of the United Kingdom is not the sum total of all the prognosticators out there.

You can try to do it yourself with World Cup Prediction Manager by clicking here for a free trial. Warning: I have not used this program or tried it out in any form. You are on your own here. But if you want to get more technical in your predictions than sloshing beers with your buddies at the local pub, you can consider this one.

Brazil also gets another stats nod according to this story, which seems to be working very hard to find some reason why Australia might go further than a first round.

Although even that mighty effort concedes the Australian Socceroos have only a 1 in 180 chance of making it all the way. I suppose the Aussies would consider those odds as decent.

And finally, if you want to follow a bunch of predictions being tallied up on a site that humbly refers to itself as World Class Coaching, click here to follow a thread that finally concludes that the cup and Brazil will also be together at the end of the World Cup 2006.

Ill check in throughout the matches to see how these technology engines are aligning with what actually happens on the field.

eWEEK magazine editor in chief Eric Lundquist can be reached at [email protected]

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