It's possible, if results go a particular way this weekend, that the All Blacks could regain the No 1 world ranking.
The scenario is clear-cut – a win for the All Blacks against the Pumas and another defeat for the Boks against the Wallabies and New Zealand could pip South Africa at the top of the charts.
Regaining the number one spot for the first time since late 2018 is the All Blacks' stated goal for this year and yet if they achieve it on Saturday, they won't for one second feel that they have really achieved it.
They will be number one on paper, but not in their own heads. The All Blacks certainly won't celebrate and they won't consider that their position serves as definitive proof that they are the best side in the world.
There's being number one in the rankings and then there is being the number one side in the much harsher court of public opinion.
The All Blacks know that they have to be the former to ever be considered the latter but that they can also be the former, without necessarily being the latter.
The question is what do the All Blacks have to do to satisfy themselves and the wider rugby fraternity that they really are the number one team in the world?
The first and most pressing box to tick is defeating South Africa. The Boks are the number one team and reigning world champions and so beating them, ideally in consecutive weekends, would, regardless of results this weekend, put the All Blacks to the top of the rankings.
It would do much more than that, however. It would go a long way towards debunking the myth of vulnerability that has attached itself to the All Blacks in regard to their ability to play effectively against the most physical and direct teams in the game.
Between 2016 and 2019, the All Blacks lost seven tests: two against Ireland, two against Australia, one against the Lions, one against South Africa and one against England, which created a strong enough data set to say New Zealand's fabled attack game could be contained by excessively conservative gameplans.
The arrival of Covid-19 reduced the All Blacks to just six tests in 2020, split between Australia and Argentina and so far this season, they have only met those two nations, Fiji and Tonga and therefore haven't locked horns with the heavyweight sorts who proved to be something of a nemesis in the last World Cup cycle.
Beating South Africa would restore some balance to the narrative and persuade those not yet convinced that the All Blacks have the required muscle, physical presence and rugby grunt to compete with any team in the world.
Just as importantly, two victories would signal that the All Blacks have developed the maturity and tactical smarts to adapt their game to ensure their attack can still flourish in the face of a supremely defensively-minded opponent.
That's essentially what the All Blacks need to prove – that they can still score tries, play clever, attacking rugby and utilise all the skillsets of their individuals even when their time and space is being shut down by massively physical packs and super-fast rush defences.
But what is also apparent is that the Boks may not be the definitive challenge in this respect and beating them - even if they do it twice - shouldn't be seen as the moment of arrival for this All Blacks team.
It's probable that tougher challenges await. Wales won the Six Nations this year and Ireland, while maybe not the team they were in 2018, appear to be rebuilding their confidence under new coach Andy Farrell.
The toughest game of all for the All Blacks this year is probably going to be in Paris against a well-coached, highly-skilled, young French team who are as creative as they are abrasive.
That will be the 15th test the All Blacks play and the fifth in succession – after playing five in succession between early September and early October before they take a two-week break after the Rugby Championship.
A win in Paris will require a depth of resilience and indeed a depth of personnel and their strength of character would be undeniable.
For the All Blacks to persuade the wider rugby world that they are the best team on the planet, they will need to beat the Boks at least once and France, and so whatever the rankings say on Monday morning, New Zealand will not yet be the number one team in the world.