On the face of it, few expected a trip to Falkirk in mid-March to yield much more than three points. When Alan Stubbs’ Hibs clawed back a significant gap earlier this season, it did seem that the title would be a close-run thing with the Easter Road outfit pushing Rangers all the way to mid-May. The Hibees seemed to be on a bit of an ascendancy while Rangers, if not utterly toiling, were not producing the same refreshing football and impressive results as before.
That all changed when Hibs proceeded to completely implode just under a month ago starting with an inexplicable loss at home to Morton, while Rangers continued to fight out win after win with improving performances.
Since then a theoretical five point lead (Hibs had a game in hand) has grown exponentially and tomorrow’s trip to meet Peter Houston’s men by the Ibrox side will see a quite staggering 17-point gap should the visitors prevail.
And that gap, of course, would be to Falkirk, not to Hibs, who now lie in a third-place purgatory (with, admittedly, a game in hand over Rangers) and are struggling to even clinch that runners-up spot to make the playoffs a little more negotiable.
Meanwhile Mark Warburton’s side could not sit any prettier – already boasting a massive 14 point lead, that will extend with victory to 17 and it is simply impossible to see how Rangers could be supplanted at that juncture as champions.
Yes, nothing is set in stone yet, and caution always has to be urged, but Rangers are comparatively the “PSG of the Championship” – the Parisians won Ligue 1 with 25 points last weekend, and while Rangers are not quite that far ahead, it is approaching the same ballpark.
Victory in 24 hours would leave Rangers having to more or less fail to win again this season to actually fail to win the title. Sure, this is a crude analysis and not backed up by maths but the principle is sound – an absolutely monumental collapse of biblical proportions would be needed, and frankly it would be unprecedented, for Rangers to fail to win the Championship following victory tomorrow.
Ibrox can taste the Premiership, it is on the very precipice now – time to sign, seal, and deliver the title.