|Flash back: Kaizer Chiefs won the title with 57 points last season|
KAIZER CHIEFS! 52 points! Woohoo! It's all over! Hold on you AmaKhosi millions. Don't count your chickens. Not with Mamelodi Sundowns coming to Soccer City on Saturday.
Sure, Chiefs condemned doomed Golden Arrows to a sixth successive defeat at Soccer City last night as Stuart Baxter's champions crashed through the 50-point barrier at the top of the PSL.
Mulomowandau "Mouth of the Lion" Mathoho and Kingston "No more boos" Nkhatha got the second half goals to secure victory on a night when arch-rivals Orlando Pirates slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Clive Barker's Mpumalanga Blacks Aces.
And this morning, all is sunshine in the AmaKhosi world. Without wishing to cloud the perfect image, I had a little look back this morning to regain my balance. Remember August 2012? When Johan Neeskens and his Sundowns went 4-0 up against Baxter's new-fangled Chiefs in the opening MTN8 encounter of the season?
Baxter said: "I see SuperSport United have lost this evening and they've just come back from Africa, a similar schedule to us. It's not easy.
"But I think my boys deserve a pat on the back. These games aren't easy, you just does win to order.
My favourite defensive midfielder in all the world, Willard Katsande grabbed the Man of the Match award YET AGAIN and said: "The coach has always told me how I should try to improve my game, I'm here to give balance to the team when we go forward, and when we go back.
"I've been been sticking to that, playing the long and short balls. I just stick to Stuart's way."
Ah, Stuart's way. It didn't look so good on August 5, 2012. We were all on Baxter's back then, after that 4-1 collapse against Neeskens. Scroll forward 18 months and the Dutchman is long gone and Baxter is defending both the PSL title and the Nedbank Cup after a uniquely successful first season in charge.
Everything's changed since those bad old days. Baxter has NEVER lost a home PSL game since, he's polished diamonds like Katsande, Nkatha and Mathoho. And his injured goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune looks set to return to action on Saturday after a month on the sidelines.
But with 52 points, can he relax? Can the AmaKhosi begin to celebrate? Hardly, here's the full list of title-winning points tallies (and runners-up) since the PSL went to 30 games a season and a 16-team league in 2002-3.
2002-2003: Orlando Pirates 61, Supersport United 55
2003-2004: Kaizer Chiefs 63 (highest), Ajax Cape Town 57
2004-2005: Kaizer Chiefs 62, Orlando Pirates 60
2005-2006: Mamelodi Sundowns 57, Orlando Pirates 54
2006-2007: Mamelodi Sundowns 61, Silver Stars 51
2007-2008: SuperSport United 54 (lowest), Ajax Cape Town 52
2008-2009: SuperSport United 55, Orlando Pirates 55
2009-2010: SuperSport United 57, Mamelodi Sundowns 56
2010-2011: Orlando Pirates 60, Ajax Cape Town 60
2011-2012: Orlando Pirates 58, Moroka Swallows 56
2012-2013: Kaizer Chiefs 57, Platinum Stars 56
In previous seasons, a win for Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday against Sundowns would have meant a title-clinching 55 points (SuperSport 2008 and 2009) but in truth, 60 looks to be the minimum requirement this season. That's the most the runners-up have achieved since 200-2003. And with seven games to go, another eight points is hardly Mission Impossible.
BOLLOCKZ! my innovative football show on www.ballz.co.za airs every Thursday from 9am-11am. See Ballz' channel for our growing library of fascinating football interviews with the big names.
You can also follow me on www.twitter.com/nealcol for all the latest sports news and read my “Neal and Pray” column every Tuesday in www.thenewage.co.za.
BOLLOCKZ! is backed by www.topodds.com - have a look at their site for my latest sports betting advice.2012-2013: Kaizer Chiefs 57 points, Platinum Stars 56