Just Sayin’: Five 5-4 teams at the end of the regular season would be peak Big Ten West

It’s going to happen. Why? Simply because it must.

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Illinois and Purdue are two of four teams tied atop the Big Ten West after Week 11.

Illinois and Purdue are two of four teams tied atop the Big Ten West after Week 11.

Michael Hickey/Getty Images

CHAMPAIGN — Listen, I’m no seer of the future. But this much, I know:

Illinois’ football team is going to lose at Michigan and win at Northwestern in its last two regular-season games.

Purdue, meanwhile, is going to beat Northwestern at home before being upset by Indiana on the road.

Iowa shall fall at Minnesota, then return home and clobber Nebraska (like everybody else does).

Minnesota will knock off Iowa, as mentioned, then lose to Wisconsin.

And before Wisconsin beats Minnesota, it will clobber Nebraska (like everybody else does).

And how do I know all that? Simply because all of it has to happen. There can be no other conclusion to the regular season than a five-way tie for first place in the snoozedelic Big Ten West.

Five teams at 5-4? Yes, please. The weak, weird, wearisome West deserves nothing less. Or is it nothing more?

The rest of us deserve a better Big Ten championship than we’re going to get Dec. 3 in Indianapolis.

In one corner of the ring will be Ohio State or Michigan, each of which stands at 10-0 after Week 11. The Buckeyes pulled Indiana apart at the seams 56-14 on Saturday. The Wolverines toyed with Nebraska 34-3.

In the other corner will be the ragtag winner of the West. The Illini? The Boilermakers? The Hawkeyes? The Gophers? The Badgers? More to the point: Will it make the slightest bit of difference who it is?

Two important things we know about the complicated tiebreaker scenario in the West: One is jack, and the other is squat.

Illinois owns head-to-head tiebreakers against Minnesota and Iowa but not against Purdue.

Purdue owns tiebreakers against Illinois and Minnesota but not against Iowa.

But what happens when five teams are 5-4? How is one team pulled from that mess to go play — probably not well — in Indy? Will there be a drawing of straws? A rock-paper-scissors tournament? A mud-wrestling round-robin?

There must be an answer out there somewhere. Alas, I’m too far under the influence of snoozedelics to look for it.

Three-dot dash

There’s not wanting to run up the score out of respect for a service-academy opponent, then there’s the ridiculousness Notre Dame was up to Saturday against Navy in Baltimore. The Irish threw the ball at will on the Midshipmen all first half and entered the break with a 35-13 lead. By the end, it was 35-32, with the Irish offense having produced all of 12 yards and one first down after halftime.

Notre Dame v Navy

Notre Dame’s offense ceased to exist in the second half against Navy.

Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

‘‘One thing you know about Navy is they’ll never quit,’’ Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman said.

Of course, the Middies didn’t quit. The problem is, Freeman’s team packed it in with 30 minutes to go. Strange look. . . .

Some people say the best visual in college football is a field-storming. Nope. It’s a bunch of big lugs in helmets and pads jumping around with a trophy after knocking off an old rival. . . .

Illinois running back Chase Brown went over 3,000 yards and into second place — behind Robert Holcombe — on the school’s career rushing list, a heck of an accomplishment. But he had only 98 yards against Purdue, the first time all season he was held below 100, and was pretty banged up by the end of the game. The Illini will be a lot better off if and when coach Bret Bielema can get a stable of backs together, like he did at Wisconsin and even Arkansas. . . .

A glimpse of free-agent shortstop odds lists the Cubs at 3-to-1 to be Carlos Correa’s next team. And if that doesn’t work out, hey, Dansby Swanson is 5-to-1 to hit the home clubhouse at Wrigley Field, Trea Turner is 7-to-1 and Xander Bogaerts is 7-to-1. Sheesh, fans aren’t going to be happy if the Cubs end up with (e) none of the above. . . .

Lions 33, Bears 27 in overtime. Look, what do you want me to do about it?

This you gotta see

Buccaneers vs. Seahawks (8:30 a.m. Sunday, NFLN): Allianz Arena in Munich is the site of the first NFL regular-season game in Germany. If you’re wondering what to bring to the tailgate, you can’t go wrong with pilsner and schnitzel.

‘‘The Band Is on the Field’’ (noon Sunday, ESPN): If the Bears and Lions are playing like the Bears and Lions, you always can flip over to this ‘‘E60’’ on the most famous play in college football history. Forty years later, Cal’s kickoff runback through the celebrating Stanford band is as wild as ever.

North Carolina v Kansas

Jalen Wilson and Kansas take on Duke.

Photo by Handout/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Duke vs. Kansas (8:30 p.m. Tuesday, ESPN): Chicago-area native Jon Scheyer leads the Blue Devils onto the court for their first big-stage game post-Mike Krzyzewski. Not coaching the national champs: Bill Self, who’s serving a university-imposed suspension.

Only because you asked

From Charles, via email: ‘‘We have great college sports in Illinois that the media in Chicago [ignores like] it doesn’t exist. Do you all even know what’s going on?’’

It’s a fair question. Sports staffs are smaller than they used to be, and college coverage has taken a hit. It’s definitely a pro-sports city. But here I am in Champaign for another Illini football game, and why? Because it’s a big story. When there’s a big sports story in our sphere, we jump on it. I’m writing about this Illini team every week. Like it or not, the game has changed: College teams have to win for us to get on board. And when they do, the Sun-Times gets on board better than the competition.

The bottom five

Jeff Saturday: It’s fine that the Colts fired Frank Reich after getting off to a 3-5-1 start, but why in the world would they bring in Peyton Manning’s old center — who has no coaching experience above the high school level — as interim coach? I mean, I could see it if his name were Jeff Sunday.

Evanston residents: According to the headlines, they’re busy worrying that plans to rebuild Ryan Field into a killer new venue could turn the area into ‘‘another Wrigleyville.’’ Heaven forbid Northwestern should have a football environment that doesn’t cause eye-rolls throughout the Big Ten.

The Philly (not that) special: An article on a major sports site is asking whether the Eagles — 8-0 — can go undefeated for the season. Cue the losing streak.

The Utah Jazz: They were supposed to be Team Tank, but they won’t stop winning. Then again, can you really trust anything about a franchise that relocated to Salt Lake City and kept the nickname ‘‘Jazz’’?

Parity: Let’s face it, it’s just a nice way of saying everybody stinks.

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