Common sense dictates that, in any league, after just one round of fixtures it’s too early to be making rash predictions about how the table will look nine months down the line when all the action is done and dusted.
But, if the opening games of the 2019/20 Championship season told us anything, it’s that Dundee United’s place as firm favourites for automatic promotion this term is with good reason.
That’s because what screamed out from the five games played on Friday and Saturday, under Robbie Neilson the Tangerines finally look to have what it takes to get back up to the Premiership.
Their Tannadice victory over an Inverness Caley Thistle side that’s reckoned to have a strong chance of being there or thereabouts in the promotion race, was every bit as impressive as the 4-1 scoreline suggests.
Neilson’s United were streets ahead and put down the kind of marker every side would love to.
In four-goal Lawrence Shankland they have added a striker who’s not just the envy of the other sides in their division, but of many in the Premiership as well.
Having impressed in the Betfred Cup games for his new team, albeit not enough to get them to the next round, the former Ayr United man stepped up a gear against Inverness.
His clinical finishing at Tannadice on Saturday left you wondering why interested English Championship sides like Hull City did not do more to secure his signature during the close season.
Because, make no mistake about it, such was the quality of the 23-year-old’s goals, it left those watching thinking this is a player capable of scoring at any level.
And what makes him even better is the fact he looks so much more than just a penalty-box striker.
Just before he was taken off against ICT so he could enjoy a deserved ovation from the Tannadice crowd, Shankland was sent crashing to the ground.
The significance of that was it was in his own half as he chased back to help his defence.
Shankland, good as he is, won’t score in every game – just most of them. What he will always do, however, is work hard for his team and, when you add that to his goals, it makes him priceless.
What must have been even more pleasing for United is that, as well as their main striker’s goals, all round they looked far superior to the opposition. If this level of performance is maintained, there has to be a chance what is traditionally a tough division will, for them, becomes a stroll.
Others, most notably their city rivals Dundee, will be aware of that and the need to up their game from the opening display.
In fairness to the Dark Blues, after a disastrous first half at Dunfermline on Friday night, they did that.
After going 2-0 down and being lucky not to be even further behind, the Dark Blues battled back to earn an acceptable draw at East End Park.
Yes, they were helped by the award of two penalties but, having been well off the pace in the first half, there is no question they were the better side in the second period.
To come back like they did, showed James McPake’s team have character and that’s something that will always serve teams in the second tier well.
And the Pars showed enough, especially in the opening 45 minutes, to suggest that any team that comes away from their place with even a share of the spoils will have chalked up an acceptable result.
Unless, of course, they are reaching the heights Dundee United did in their opener just a few hours later.
Only time will tell but, if the Tangerines maintain that level on a regular basis, they might not be the team to catch so much as the one that can’t be caught.