Bayern Munich and the Bundesliga: Does German soccer's weirdness hurt its dominant team?

That was fun while it lasted, huh?

This was supposed to be the year when Bayern Munich fell back to the pack. They lost Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona, and you could at least convince yourself that everyone got better or, at the very least, not worse. RB Leipzig had stabilized under manager Domenico Tedesco, held onto stars like Christopher Nkunku and made less-sexy additions (midfielder Xaver Schlager, defender David Raum) around the edges. Borussia Dortmund lost Erling Haaland to Manchester City, but they strengthened elsewhere and brought back Edin Terzic, the coach who helped them storm back up the table two seasons ago. As for Bayer Leverkusen, the youngest team in the league? Well, they hung onto all their stars and seemed primed for some internal improvement.

Yeah, about that. Halfway into their season opener, against defending Europa League champs Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayern Munich were winning 5-0. They looked better than ever and needed just 45 minutes to offer a definitive "actually, yes" to all the devil's advocates wondering, "Could they be better without the best goal scorer in the world?"

Watching Bayern steamroll Frankfurt, possession after possession, I couldn't help but wonder who this was serving. The question of whether the Bundesliga is too easy for Bayern Munich is a settled one. They've won 10 titles in a row, already a record across the entire history of Europe's Big Five Leagues. Instead, the better question, I think, is a slightly different one: What if the Bundesliga is too weird for Bayern Munich?