League tables don’t lie and at the end of the Division 1 season a few months back the top four teams in the country were, in no particular order, Dublin, Galway, Tyrone and Monaghan.

And here we are at the All-Ireland semi-final stage and the same four are the only teams left standing.

The Dubs play the Tribesmen in the first semi-final at Croke Park next Saturday, with an all-Ulster clash the following day.

This was the first year of the Super 8s, the new-look All-Ireland quarter-finals that were supposed to inject a bit more life and glamour into the football championship.

On the most basic measure they’ve been a success, with the four top teams where they’re supposed to be and still competing for Sam Maguire.

Against Dublin, Roscommon lost their fourth game of the Championship

The format has also proven popular with the players that got to feature in it because they got to play three games in four weeks rather than endure the lengthy waits that are so commonplace during the GAA summer.

Donegal captain Michael Murphy said: "We had games every couple of weeks, even in Ulster, and it’s a format players like - you get up, you get on the horse, you play and then you recover for another game.

"As a group of footballers that’s what you want - you don’t want these four and five-week breaks between games because that does nobody any good.

"We can’t complain with the Super 8s; the two best teams ultimately in our group went through, the same on the other side so the top four teams are competing in the All-Ireland semi-final on merit and based on what they did in the group stages. It’s all about results."

The Dubs are the only team to reach this point with a 100 per cent winning record this summer, with Galway having suffered only one defeat.

Monaghan and Tyrone met in Ulster already this summer

Monaghan lost one and drew one while Tyrone are the first team to make it to an All-Ireland football semi-final having already lost two Championship games - to Monaghan in Ulster and Dublin in Super 8s Group 2.

Croke Park will be relieved that both groups were live propositions going into the final weekend, with something to play for in three of the four games.

Only Dublin v Roscommon was a dead-rubber and the fact that the Rossies were staring down the barrel of a fourth Championship defeat of the summer should give organisers pause for thought.

Tyrone-Donegal was a winner-takes-it-all clash at a packed ground in Ballybofey and the sides delivered a thrill-a-minute in an exciting, see-saw second half. The atmosphere once again showed the value of taking big games on the road to provincial venues.

While Galway were already through, Monaghan still needed a draw to be sure of progressing and as it happened their win sealed top spot in Group 1. Kerry could have gone through with just one win under their belts against a Kildare side already out, but that scenario was avoided with the result in Salthill.

Galway's win over Kildare ensured their place in the semi-final

The Super 8s is with us as a three-year experiment and when Croke Park sit down to review the 2018 edition they would do well take note of a number of anomalies and make changes ahead of next season.

The fact that Dublin get to play two games at Croke Park has been well debated and it hardly seems right that the strongest team in the country gets home advantage twice, no matter what anyone says about neutral venues.

The opening round of fixtures should see the four provincial champions play at home, not at GAA Headquarters. This would give them a tangible reward for winning silverware and offer them the best possible chance of starting off the group stage with a win.

The middle set of games could be played at Croke Park, if the Association remain fixed on the idea of having a major football weekend in Dublin in July, as every team will still have something to play for at this stage and fans would remain engaged.

Eamonn Fitzmaurice stepped down as Kerry manager after the Super 8s 

Something that’s certain to be looked at is the time-frame that the Super 8s are slotted into as part of the Championship calendar as a whole.

Everything feels very compressed, three games in four weeks, and teams only getting between six and eight days preparation time for their All-Ireland semi-final.

Monaghan are at this stage of the competition for the first time since 1988 and the joy that greeted their win over Galway in Salthill, with thousands of fans invading the pitch and celebrating their moment with their players, was everything good about the GAA.

But rather than have a bit of time to enjoy their win, players and fans are straight away thinking of Croke Park the following weekend. It’s unlikely that the squad were even allowed to let off a bit of steam after the game - something that a fortnight’s break would allow.

Ultimately, the Super 8s does nothing for any of the teams locked outside of football's elite and the new format merely puts further distance between the haves and the have-nots. The real benefit of a group stage would be felt earlier in the competition, offering every side more game time.