At the start of the current season, Huddersfield Town and Burnley were tipped to struggle in the Premier League. But nearly 100 years ago the thought of the two northern powerhouses being relegated would have been laughable.
In 1920/21, the Clarets finished champions, having finished second the year before and third the year after.
It was only in the 1929/30 campaign that the Lancashire side dropped out of the top tier - with Burnley having to wait until the resumption of the Football League after World War Two to reclaim their top-flight status.
Huddersfield Town's golden era came around the same period, with the FA Cup triumph in 1922 followed by three consecutive league titles between 1923 and 1926.
In fact, in Town's final title-winning season, only three teams south of Birmingham were represented in the league.
Arsenal and West Ham were London's only representatives in the First Division, with Cardiff City the third south of the midlands.
But with the decline of Huddersfield and Burnley, along with decades of investment in southern football clubs, the north began to lose its monopoly on football league titles.
When the Gunners claimed their first crown in 1930/31, it was the first time the First Division trophy had headed south of Villa Park and it wouldn't be until 1948/49 when another southern side - Portsmouth - became champions of English football.
But titles for Tottenham, Chelsea and Ipswich - along with 12 more for Arsenal - saw some of the former northern footballing powerhouses fade into memory.
Of course Leeds United, Manchester United and Liverpool have had periods of dominance over the English league system, but the former giants of Huddersfield and Burnley slipped into the lower reaches of the pyramid. Until now.
The resurgence of Town and the Clarets has been a joy to behold - not only to have two historical heavyweights in the top division, but to witness how they have managed it - with graft, determination and real Northern grit.
Both are built on strong defence, unlike the short-lived renaissance of Blackpool, which holds them in better shape to stay in the top flight than the Tangerines.
And Blackpool, like other northern clubs Bolton and Blackburn, have had issues with ownership - something Town and Burnley are unlikely to have in the near future.
Dean Hoyle and Mike Garlick have been at their respective clubs for around a decade, and both support the sides they control.
All of this creates a cocktail for success on both sides of the Pennines.
It's possible both clubs may end up experiencing relegation this season, but they've given themselves the best chance of survival with the team ethic both Sean Dyche and David Wagner have introduced, smart ownership and steely determination on the pitch.
All this has been done whilst fighting the lure of the capital, with top players choosing London living over life in the north - as Alexis Sanchez did when he reportedly opted for Arsenal over Liverpool back in 2014.
With the odds stacked against them, Burnley and Town have carved their own way into the top flight, and that deserves special praise.