Tipperary have set the standard and it's up to the rest to catch up, according to Waterford's Noel Connors.
The Deise are one of a number of teams who will be trying their best to dethrone the Premier County in the year ahead and Connors believes the Liam MacCarthy Cup race is 'wide open' in 2017.
"I think that going on what we saw over the last 12 months, certainly Tipperary were incredible from the very first game to the very last and it's something that Kilkenny have done for years," Connor told The Irish Independent. "So we're all trying to get up to that.
"They're probably on a step or two ahead of everyone else so we'll endeavour to try to reach that in the next number of months and weeks in training and matches and leagues or whatever it may be.
"Certainly Tipperary are the team to beat at the minute and there's a chasing pack of quite a number of teams that people are kind of writing off, the likes of Limerick and Clare but I think they'll have a lot to say.
"Even the likes of Dublin and Cork. I think Cork have an incredible tradition and people are already writing them off so I think it will be an interesting championship.
"Galway were probably the closest to Tipperary all year and there's not really too much said about Galway in the last number of months.
"Even the likes of Dublin, they'd a fella sent off against Cork and it could have (put) a totally different outlook on the championship.
"So there's very small margins that win championships. If a ball breaks the wrong way and you get in on goal … and it's a great way to have it, not saying it's a negative or anything like that.
"It's an incredible way to have it; the hurling championship is so wide open. Obviously Tipp are a small bit ahead but you've a chasing pack there of maybe five, six, seven, eight teams that could go out and cause damage any day they take the field."