Tipp poised to defy history
Trying to win this year's Munster and All-Ireland titles is going to be a huge challenge for both Tipperary and Cork. But the law of averages, combined with history, suggests just how hard that journey will be.
The odds of winning Munster are already against both of them. And even if they do, so are the odds of them winning the All-Ireland.
Only six times in the last 39 years have the eventual Munster champions had to beat three fellow top-nine counties en route to that provincial title. And none of those six sides went on to win the All-Ireland.
Cork beat Waterford, Clare and Limerick before falling to Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final.
Cork defeated Tipperary, Clare and Waterford before Kilkenny defeated them in the All-Ireland final.
Limerick beat Cork, Waterford, Clare and Antrim before losing to Offaly.
Limerick beat Cork, Clare, Tipp (after a replay) and Antrim, but lost the All-Ireland final to Wexford.
Waterford beat Clare, Tipp and Cork before losing the All-Ireland semi-final to Kilkenny.
Tipp beat Cork, Clare, Waterford and Limerick before narrowly losing the All-Ireland final to Kilkenny.
However, Tipp looked best poised to finally break the trend this year.