Currently, the Premier League's four Champions League slots are occupied by Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Hull City.
Wait, what? Don't you mean Manchester United?
Nope. Hull City sits in third place in the Premier League right now after an unprecedented streak of great form to begin their inaugural campaign in England's top flight.
Hull won their first ever Premier League contest with a 2-1 result over Fulham at home. A draw away to Blackburn was then followed by a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Wigan. After the Wigan result, many people, myself included, wondered if Hull's first two games were lucky victories or if the Wigan matchup was just an unfortunate hiccup.
Hull has since proved their doubters wrong. Ever since that Wigan matchup on Aug. 30, Hull has not lost a game in the Premier League.
It's not as if these four straight games without defeat have come against bottom tier teams, either. Sure, Hull captured six points against two teams that currently occupy seats in the relegation zone in Newcastle and Tottenham.
But the Tigers also managed a draw against a club that could challenge for a UEFA cup slot in Everton. Even more surprising was Hull's 2-1 victory over Arsenal, in which Hull was responsible for all three goals.
Hull is not a club with a previous resume in the top flight to fall back upon. In fact, their seven matches in the Premier League this campaign have been the only seven top-flight matches in their history.
Prior to this season, their best finish in the league was twice finishing in third place in the second division. Their greatest cup achievement was reaching the semifinals in the 1930 FA Cup.
This team has not approached the current season like newcomers without any major silverware. Aside from the Wigan match, Hull have come out like they are Premier League veterans. They haven't backed down from any opponent yet, despite much of their roster not having any top-flight experience.
They've been led by Geovanni, the former Manchester City, Benfica, and Barcelona midfielder. He's already managed three goals for the Tigers, scoring against Arsenal and Tottenham in spectacular fashion from distance. Hull have smartly placed a large price tag on his services, hoping to ward off interest from other clubs.
Aside from Geovanni, there is not a lot of other top-flight experience on the books. Dean Windass, George Boateng, Daniel Cousin, Marlon King, and Stelios Giannakopoulos are the most notable of the rest of the roster.
This team, with a mixture of experience and youth, has sent a message to the rest of the Premier League that they are not to be taken lightly. As Arsenal learned, if one of the Top Four has an off-day against Hull, they could find themselves going home without a single point to show for their efforts.
Hull has also shown that the 2008-2009 Premier League season will not necessarily play out by the same script as it has in the past. Some members of the Top Four may find themselves adrift of the Champions League spots if they struggle to find form at times during the season.
Manchester United currently sit in eighth position, outside of any European slot. Granted, the season is young but there are a finite number of games in which to move up.
The Tigers have seen their opportunity to make some noise and have seized it without a second though. Teams with storied histories and plenty of silverware are staring up at Hull this season, wondering what is happening at the KC Stadium.
The teams ahead of Hull are having to watch their back because Arsenal showed that it is not impossible for a perennial Champions League team to lose to a newly-promoted side.
Hull have shaken up the established order of the Premier League, and it's been quite exciting to watch so far. How far can they take their success this season?