While Las Vegas odds makers have set the odds for the remaining teams (see the graphic above) on the eve of the round of 16, Dirty Tackle has donned a labcoat and run the numbers through a giant science calculator to compile our own power rankings of the remaining contenders ...
Only Greece could score just two goals and still make the knockout rounds. The Greeks are about as entertaining as watching Sir Alex Ferguson read from the phone book for 90 minutes.
The Super Eagles advanced at the expense of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which were a much better team in the group stages. Life, she is unfair.
The 2011 Copa America champions have been treading water since that title win, they don't have much of a midfield and their best player has been sent home for doing that thing he likes to do.
Oh hey, Switzerland! You're here? Sorry, didn't really notice you creep in. What's that? You've got Argentina in the round of 16? Better start booking those flights to Geneva. Sorry bro!
Belgium has been touted as the dark horse of the tournament, but that title really should go to the Fennec Foxes. They have a young squad, an organized defense and the ability to cause an upset ... if they didn't have to play Germany next.
11. United States
Few people gave Jurgen Klinsmann's men much hope of escaping their group, but thanks to Portugal being a bit rubbish and Ghana descending into chaos, they made it through. A clear indication that team spirit can often triumph over team talent. 'MURICA!
After scraping qualification and changing its manager 26 times, most folks expected Mexico to fold harder than Zlatan at an origami convention. But here it is, playing pretty darn well.
9. Costa Rica
Perhaps the biggest surprise package at the tournament so far, the Costa Ricans are doing CONCACAF proud with their frenetic style and Joel-Campbell led attack. If they can win Group D, they can probably win this and the next three World Cups.
Manager Marc Wilmots deserves a huge round of applause for making a team with this much world-class talent be so INCREDIBLY BORING. However, it won all three group matches and should really get going when it faces some "bigger" teams.
The knockout stage is only big enough for one team nicknamed "La Roja" and it's the high-pressing South Americans who helped dump world champions Spain to the wayside. Chile is so energetic and exciting that it leaves you feeling like you just ran a marathon in a SCUBA suit after watching them.
Radamel who? Even without its star player, Colombia is terrifyingly good in this tournament.
The Argentines don't have the perfect defense and certainly started slowly, but they are on a winning streak fueled by some guy called Leo Messi. They are also spurred on by the loudest fans at the tournament and the desire to embarrass fierce neighbors Brazil in its own backyard.
The succinctly named national fussballmannschaft has reached at least the semifinals in the past three tournaments, and with its beautiful striker-free passing game, it will reach the final four this year.
The host nation is a popular pick to win the competition, and the Brazilians have an awful lot going for them. But what they do not have going for them is a solid defense, as demonstrated when they conceded to Cameroon, which was ostensibly one of the worst teams at the tournament.
The Oranje were undefeated in qualifying, they won all three group matches and they look absolutely unbeatable right now. At this rate, the Dutch are setting themselves up beautifully for one of their traditional World Cup Final losses.
It's been a crazy and unpredictable World Cup, which is why a team like France has managed to top the power rankings at this point. If you disagree with the placement, take a look around the field and find a team with fewer weaknesses than Les Bleus. Find one? Didn't think so. Didier Deschamps' men have looked extremely impressive, and they are fulfilling their prophecy of being successful in alternate tournaments (1998 - champions; 2002 - utter garbage; 2006 - finalists; 2010 - embarrassing capitulation; 2014 - annoyingly brilliant).
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