There are two types of people. The first kind look at results. They see Ireland with two bonus point victories after two games, scoring 13 tries and conceding just two and conclude that Ireland are one of the form teams in the competition. The other kind point to the strength of the opposition that Ireland have faced, and say "let's calm down for just a minute".
It's about the people that represent each line of thinking that show which theory should be taken more seriously. Take, for example, a head coach who has played against both Ireland and their nearest Pool D rivals very recently.
Having been up close and personal with Ireland and France since last Wednesday, Romania's head coach Lynn Howell's is in a unique position to be able to give an educated insight into the tournament prospects of both teams. His conclusion? There's no reason why Ireland can't win the Webb Ellis trophy on Halloween night.
When asked if Ireland can win the World Cup for the first time, Howell didn't hesitate to laud Schmidt's men:
I don't see any reason why not. Especially after I watched Wales beat England which was very good last night. For the Irish team, I think they have all the ability. Their lineout is very good. They scrum was solid and in the contact area, they are very well managed.
Howells isn't the first outsider to announce Ireland's candidacy as World Cup contenders. But given how close he is to the international scene, it is an opinion worth noting.
While it's always nice to hear, but it definitely goes against the Irish mentality of playing our abilities down. For now we just want to focus on winning our pool - with challenges against Italy and France.
Having lost to both France and Ireland, Howells rates Ireland as the better team, saying that they are close to a complete team:
I think Ireland have a more a more complete game than France. I think they are better equipped to go further in the competition. I think Ireland will win.
From what we've done on an analysis of Ireland, I think they're pretty complete.
Even for people who want to play down expectations, coming from a coach who should know it - Ireland should continue their unbeaten run against France when the pool decider rolls around in two weeks.
Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE