How do you analyse a two-horse race when of those horses pulls up lame long before the finishing line?
That is the problem with assessing Celtic's 43rd Scottish title win, which was clinched at Rugby Park with a thumping victory over Killie.
Neil Lennon picked up his first championship as manager and can now train his sights on the double, with Hearts coming up in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup at Hampden next week.
Long before Celtic travelled to Ayrshire, it was a question of when, not if, they would reclaim the title from Rangers for the first time in four years.
The annual title race between the Glasgow giants effectively ended in mid-February when Rangers were deducted 10 points for entering administration.
It left them 14 points behind a rejuvenated and remarkably youthful Celtic team at the top of the table, a gap too big for an ailing club which had lost its three top scorers - Steven Naismith and Kyle Lafferty to injury and Nikica Jelavic to Everton.
But that was not Celtic's fault, and it should not be allowed to diminish their achievement.
By that point, they were in the midst of an impressive recovery following a difficult start to the season.
Lennon suffered from the loss of key players such as Emilio Izaguirre, Scott Brown and Beram Kayal, but with a bigger squad he was able to chop and changed his side, especially in defence.
Indeed, the former Celtic skipper went through the whole campaign without a settled rearguard, leaving aside the much improved goalkeeper Fraser Forster, who excelled in his second loan spell from Newcastle.
Rangers won 4-2 in the season's first Old Firm derby at Ibrox in September to move four points clear of Celtic, who had lost to St Johnstone for the first time in 13 years and been knocked out of the Europa League play-offs by Sion (although Celtic were reinstated when the Swiss club were found guilty of fielding ineligible players).
A 2-0 defeat to Hearts at Tynecastle on October 2 brought more criticism for Lennon as the gap to Rangers increased to 10 points.
Lennon admitted feeling the pressure afterwards and said: "A few players have to look at themselves and ask if they're doing enough at the minute. For me, they're not."
Well, they certainly got the message but the great irony is that Rugby Park, scene of Saturday's celebrations, was the place it could have all ended for Lennon when his side found themselves 3-0 down at half-time.
Celtic fought back through two goals within three minutes from Anthony Stokes and a Charlie Mulgrew header with 10 minutes remaining to rescue a point, with Rangers' draw with St Mirren later in the day meaning there was no further ground lost.
Lennon admitted he had considered his future at the interval. "When you are 3-0 down at Kilmarnock, you think do you hand your resignation in after the game if it goes to four or five?" he said.
"It would have been totally unacceptable for someone like myself, even though I've never been under any pressure from upstairs."
Celtic's SPL season turned on that game.
When they travelled to Fir Park on November 6, they were 15 points behind Rangers with two games in hand.
A 2-1 win kept them on an unbeaten domestic run which extended to 26 games - until their Scottish League Cup final defeat by Kilmarnock at Hampden on March 18 - which came before a 3-2 league defeat to Rangers at Ibrox.
Lennon spent part of the season in court facing people who wished to do him harm, but he refuses to be cowed and questioned referees' decisions following both defeats and the Scottish Football Association acted.
He was sent off by referee Calum Murray at the interval at Ibrox, while SFA compliance officer Vincent Lunny wrote asking for an explanation for comments made about referee Willie Collum after the Killie defeat and for talking about referees ahead of the home game against St Johnstone, opening old wounds and raising questions about Lennon's ability to handle defeat.
However, by the time of their defeat in Govan all tension had left the title race. So while Rangers' win prevented Celtic wrapping up the title at Ibrox for the first time since 1967, it merely delayed the inevitable.
Celtic were at times sparkling - like on Saturday - and at times ruthless, but most of all they were consistent.
They were best served by midfielder Victor Wanyama, winger James Forrest - probably Celtic's best player over the season - and a rehabilitated Charlie Mulgrew.
Strikers Gary Hooper and Anthony Stokes chipped in with more than 40 goals between them and Georgios Samaras at last showed the consistency demanded by the Hoops fans.
Context is required. Celtic lost the Scottish League Cup final to Kilmarnock. They have lost twice to Rangers in the SPL with one Old Firm game remaining and in Europe, the acid test, Lennon's side won one of eight Europa League games.
However, those disappointments had long since faded from the minds of the fans who took up three stands at Rugby Parks to celebrate a convincing win which proved that Celtic were deserved champions.
It is not a 'tainted title' as some have suggested, mostly those who follow Rangers. And it is not a hollow victory.
The best and most consistent team in Scotland are the champions, even if the title race lacked the drama and excitement of previous seasons.
Ronnie Esplin, Press Association Sport
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