The hardest Championship ever??

I got thinking that this season is turning out to be a very high level indeed. So I went quickly back on each of the last SIX seasons, at exactly this point in the schedule, virtually all teams on either 30 or 31 games played.

Looking at the relative strengths of each season, but not particularly any one club, I added up the total points gained by the front runners to see if this was an usually strong season ...

Here goes -


2016-17
Newcastle 30 - 65
Brighton 30 - 64
Huddersfield 30 - 58
Reading 31 - 57
Leeds 31 - 54
Sheff Wed 30 - 52
--------------------
Norwich 31 - 50

TOTAL POINTS BY EVERYONE: 400



2015-16
Hull 30 - 59
Middlesbrough 29 - 57
Burnley 31 - 56
Brighton 30 - 56
Sheff Wed 31 - 53
Derby 31 - 51
--------------------
Birmingham 31 - 48

TOTAL POINTS BY EVERYONE: 380



2014-15
Bournemouth 31 - 59
Middlesbrough 30 - 59
Derby 30 - 58
Ipswich 31 - 57
Watford 31 - 56
Norwich 31 - 53
--------------------
Brentford 31 - 52

TOTAL POINTS BY EVERYONE: 394



2013-14
Leicester 30 - 67
Burnley 31 - 60
QPR 29 - 56
Derby 30 - 55
Nottm Forest 30 54
Reading 30 47
--------------------
Brighton 30 - 46

TOTAL POINTS BY EVERYONE: 385



2012-13
Cardiff 30 - 64
Hull 31 - 56
Leicester 30 - 53
Watford 31 53
Crystal Pal 31 - 52
Middlesbrough 31 - 50
--------------------
Brighton 31 - 46

TOTAL POINTS BY EVERYONE: 374



2011-12
West Ham 30 - 57
Southampton 31 - 56
Cardiff 31 - 53
Blackpool 31 - 52
Birmingham 30 - 51
Reading 30 - 51

--------------------
Hull 30 - 50

TOTAL POINTS BY EVERYONE: 370


My intuition has been confirmed. In no other recent season has the sum of points for the top SEVEN at this stage reached 400 points.

Curious how some teams pop up regularly, whilst others are one season wonders.

In part, weighing up these stats and on your own instinct, would you say it is the most difficult season ever for these clubs to get promoted?

And will the three promoted teams in fact come from these seven? Or any surprise likely with a super charge from lower down the table, perhaps unforeseen at present?


Interested as a (well-behaved) Royals fan (as you know!) to hear your thoughts!!