Leeds Utd and Huddersfield Town. A Bit of Fun
Immediate disclaimer: this is a fun post. There's no serious analysis here, and it isn't detailing the most important features of the season; I just wanted to have a look at something, and thought that it might be worth posting my results here. There are no conclusions drawn, and nor can there be. It is simply a comment on a facet of the 2012/13 season I have found unusual, particularly in historical context.
These first few weeks of the season have been interesting. There's been ups (Blackpool) and downs (Watford) throughout. The one thing that has remained relatively consistent, though, is that Huddersfield Town have been above Leeds Utd in the table. Rare, I think, is how I would best describe that happening over recent seasons. Leeds have been flying pretty high, of course, though eventually found themselves tumbling to the 3rd tier for the first time. I was curious about this; I wanted to know how common it was, so I've done a bit of a trawl through the archives.
I was, I have to admit, a little surprised with what I found. Huddersfield Town have been above Leeds in the Football League for 9,805 days (almost 27 years) now - the longest spell being from Boxing Day 1946 to the first day of the 1956/57 season - some 3,500 days and more. Meanwhile Leeds, who suffered early on, have come back and have dominated for the last forty years or so of the rivalry.
Here's those swings between the leaders represented in a graph - the blue lines are the spells Huddersfield have been ahead, and the white boxes the times when Leeds have been (hello to any Leeds fans reading; its nothing personal you being below, just it's a Huddersfield Town focused blog) ahead - you can see the more recent spells - basically the 70s represented by the two white lines next to one another, and then the 80s and 90s by the really long white box.
What does that mean, then, between the two? I've got another graph for you - the percentage of time Huddersfield Town have been ahead of Leeds, and that gets better and better reading for Leeds as time goes on - up to now, really, when Huddersfield have stayed ahead of Leeds for 31.66% of the latter's time in the league. Disappointing stuff, but there's a couple of interesting points to this (at least illustrative, if not important).
The date Leeds finally overhauled Huddersfield was as late as 11/09/1979 - a wee while after, I would say, the best time of Leeds' history; which indicates nothing more than how dominant Huddersfield had been before that decade. Secondarily, and to give you a taste of how far ahead Leeds have been since then - if you wanted to see that figure back at 50% (where it was on 11/9/79), you would need Huddersfield to be ahead of Leeds, solidly, from today until 6/11/2043 - that is unlikely; since the tipping point in 1979, Huddersfield have been ahead of Leeds in the league for only 360 days.
Enjoy the rest of your season, folks. It might be a historic one.
As far as I can see, only three times has one team gone above the other in the league by virtue of beating them in a match.
7/9/1960 - Huddersfield T 4-1 Leeds U
11/5/1963 - Huddersfield T 1-0 Leeds U
8/3/1986 - Leeds U 2-0 Huddersfield T <- This was my fourth birthday. Downer.