Ready to rank the nations? AFI World Rankings Poll

If the best of one nation faced off on the gridiron against the best of another, when the dust settled, where would of the countries of the world fall?

This is our attempt to answer that question.

But first, some background. With all the recent excitement around the international rankings we’ve had on AFI for some time, we decided to revisit the rankings and address some questions raised.

First off, we want to say that AFI‘s researched various types of ranking systems for international American football for years now.

We’ve tried formula’s based loosely on FIFA, but there just wasn’t enough games being played for it to work out. We’ve incorporated ELO rating system techniques and written software with custom options to ‘reset’ teams that went a certain amount of time without playing a game.

Problems remained.

In a standard ELO rating system, every nation would start with the same mean value and is ranked after so many provisional results. The lack of games being played makes the provisional system hard to work with. Additionally, it’s clear that same teams are much further along in their development than others, so we can’t start everyone at the same number and let it play out. Many countries don’t travel outside of their continent to play for friendlies. It’s impossible to mathematically rank these nations against the other nations fairly.

Honestly, right now, there isn’t a good way to do it.

There just aren’t enough games played to programmatically rank the teams without some crazy outliers. Even a modified version of what FIFA uses would be a good place to start, but even FIFA requires five games a year to make the calculation.

We are the World

That said, you our audience, know as much about the sport as anyone. So we’ve entrusted our first public AFI World Rankings Poll to you.

It’s up to you to come up with an accurate ranking. The AFI World Rankings Poll is designed to poll athletes, coaches, administrators, sportswriters, broadcasters, and fans from across the globe. Each voter provides his own ranking of the top 50 nations, and the individual rankings are then combined to produce the worldwide ranking by giving a nation 50 points for a first place vote, 49 for a second place vote, and so on down to 1 point for a fiftieth place vote.

We are busy compiling a secondary AFI Coaches & Sportswriters Poll.

To submit an application to participate in the AFI Coaches & Sportswriters Poll please email: [email protected].

Your input would be be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your participation!

Ready to rank the nations? Do it below!

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John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.