Written by Will Neller
The Championship. Some say it's the toughest, most competitive and most unpredictable division in England.
So every year, without fail, someone will attempt to make sense of it all and predict those who they see as competitors for promotion to the promised land of the Premiership and those who will drop to the dreary dulldrums of the Third Division.
This year, the fate of all 24 teams falls to me as we run through the hopes and expectations of those in the Second Tier of Europe's Greatest League.
The Championship is normally divided into three groups. The Big Spenders. The Mid-Table Obscurities. The No-Hopers.
Starting with the big spenders, the Championship has grown a lot of these over the years. More and more Premier League clubs get themselves relegated and find the only way to get back up is to spend big bucks on big players in the hope of big results.
This season, there are multiple clubs spending 8 figure fees on players they feel will get them out of the division.
So far, Leeds and Stoke have spent over £10 million on acquisitions like Patrick Bamford and Tom Ince. But other clubs like Derby, Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest and Bristol City have all been busy in the transfer window, bringing in expensive foreign imports and young but proven Championship talent.
These clubs will all expect to be challenging for promotion or hope for Play Offs.
The order of them however remains to be seen, but if I was to pick a team to finish on top of the pile out of this lot, Leeds United would be my choice to return to the Premiership. After that however, anyone's guess!
Now come the obscurities. These are the guys who don't have the quality to go up and compete, but aren't bad enough to go down.
They aren't typically on the upper end of the spending spectrum, but they spend enough to retain their Championship status year on year.
Clubs like Brentford and Preston earnt the title of Dark Horses last season, and this year will be no different.
Both clubs have intentions to improve their squads and through good additions will probably find themselves at the higher end of Mid-Table.
After spending big last season but failing on promotion, Aston Villa could find themselves in this bracket, especially when high profile talents like Jack Grealish could be out the door before Thursdays deadline.
Recently relegated Swansea and West Brom will probably be in this bracket, but possess players that could potentially aid in their assault on the top 6.
A year of rebuilding with their parachute payments and young prospects could be beneficial in a promotion bid in the coming seasons.
The lower half of the Mid-Table in theory should be contested between a number of clubs, but as so often the case, one or two occasionally slip down into the relegation mire or speed up into the lofty heights of the Division.
Birmingham City and our boys in blue, Ipswich Town, both have new managers keen to make their own mark on their squads. New ideas and a fresh outlook will pay dividends for these clubs in the long term, however this season a Mid-Table finish would be more than above expectations.
Millwall had a highly successful season last year, but to repeat that would be nothing short of a miracle, consolidating safety would be more than a bonus.
Norwich City, Hull and both Sheffield Clubs have persisted with the same managers as last season and that'll do them good this season. Time will tell if either are ready to push on and achieve greater things but I don't see enough in the squads to do this.
Finally, we move on to the back end of the division. These are the guys with no goalscorers, the team of journeymen, the sides who battle every game for survival like an oppressed Meerkat on the African Savannah.
For this lot, finishing outside the bottom 3 is the equivalent of winning a Grand Prix with a Toyota Aygo.
It's easy to distinguish who'll be in this half of the table. Bolton avoided relegation last term with a somewhat fortunate result on the final day. Unless they add goals to their ranks, they'll find themselves in the same situation or worse.
QPR and Reading will probably fall into this bracket also. QPR have Matt Smith leading their line and I'm not even sure Reading have a line. Both could be tipped to struggle.
Wigan, Blackburn and Rotherham have just come up having all been relegated at the same time two seasons ago. Blackburn and Wigan have talent, but one doubts how much they have and whether they have what it takes to stave off the drop.
Rotherham were probably one of the worst sides I ever watched a few years ago, like a toddler in the deep end, they were so far out of their depth and I'd imagine they'll be in the same position this year. They are who I'm tipping to prop up the other 23 teams in the Championship.
Predicting the Unpredictable is never easy, but we got there! one thing is for sure, this season has all the makings of another classic.
Lots of sleeping giants hungry for a return, plenty of sides with something to prove, lots of sides gritting their teeth and ready for a scrap for survival. And I for one cannot wait!