Earlier today, the long-awaited FIFA World Rankings came out -- the ones that factor in the latest round of World Cup qualifying games (including the U.S.'s victories against Jamaica and Panama this past week), and the ones that determine the Pot 1 seeding for the 2014 World Cup draw (aka the most important event ever) on Dec. 6. (Despite those two victories, the USMNT holds steady at 13th in the world, but they can now legitimately say they're ranked higher than Portugal.
The top few spots in the world aren't too terribly surprising -- Spain is still #1, Germany's #2, and Argentina's #3 -- but it's a little odd beyond that, in part because of Italy's slide from the previous set of rankings. Colombia's now 4th, Belgium is 5th, Uruguay is 6th ... and Switzerland has inexplicably jumped up 7 spots to 7th. So, those are your Pot 1 teams along with host team Brazil (currently ranked 11th) -- unless Uruguay loses its playoff to Jordan and loses its World Cup berth altogether, in which case, the Netherlands jumps in. (Italy's the highest-ranked non-Pot 1 team -- apparently their 2-2 draw against Armenia didn't help their case.)
So, yes, there's a nightmare scenario in which the U.S. could end up in the same group with WC 2010 finalists Spain and Netherlands (along with, say, 12th-ranked Chile) to make a Super Group of Death. In the meantime, Switzerland has suddenly become the "please don't throw me in the briar patch" of Pot 1 teams. This totally addictive Japanese website lets you simulate the draw again and again, making assumptions about who will qualify for the remaining 11 spots, including Algeria, because Burkina Faso's just not getting the love it deserves.