Wednesday sips, ft. pump-up videos, NORTHWESTERN AS NATIONAL CHAMPIONS, and bye-bye Illinois State

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Once I stop thinking about that basketball game, we've got some things that will make you hate my countdown, someone who thinks NU can win the national title, and an FCS opponent probably getting the axe.

Oh, Jesus, you guys. Basketball. Basketball! Game 6 of the NBA Finals was one of the greatest things I've ever seen and yet another reminder of why I'm obsessed with both college and pro basketball. SB Nation's coverage was and is damn near perfect, top to bottom, and it's awesome that I got to participate.

Anyway, you guys want to talk about Northwestern football?

THE COUNTDOWN IS REALLY JUST NOT DOING IT FOR ME ANYMORE: NOT WHEN THINGS LIKE THIS HAPPEN:

STEELEMAS: Phil Steele's magazine dropped, and, look, they put our friends from BHGP in there! Steele also put together a list by stats, win totals, and some other things of teams that fit the mold to win a national championship, and narrowed the 125 teams in college football down to 14 squads that fit the descriptors of virtually every team that has ever won a BCS National Championship, and guess what: Northwestern is one.

Oh, and you should go buy Phil Steele's book, because, honestly, there's nothing better for a college football fan.

Redbirds singing in the dead of night?: So the Big Ten is moving to a nine-game schedule. We've known this for a bit. It's going to make it a bit tougher to get to six wins, but, hey, fine. More quality opponents is a good thing, and although it's less good for Northwestern, I criticize other conferences that do the same thing in my head and plus, it'll be tougher for everybody, not just NU.

Yesterday, those nine-game schedules took their first casualty: Ohio State cancelled a 2016 game with Central Michigan -- by letter! -- because there was no room on the schedule.

If you look at Northwestern's schedule, you'll see there's no room there, either. Northwestern has games scheduled against Western Michigan, Illinois State, Duke, and Stanford in 2016, and they'll only be able to play three of those. The odds-on favorite to get cancelled is Illinois State, as the Big Ten kinda already said they wouldn't schedule games against FCS teams. But we do have to wait on the other shoe to drop.

X-FACTOR: Rittenblog says its Dan Vitale, whatever that means.

'CROOTIN: Northwestern picked up a 12th recruit in 3-star OLB Nathan Hall, brother of Northwestern safety Jimmy, and Garrett Dickerson -- four star tight end/defensive end and yes, brother of Northwestern wide receiver Cameron, has a final three:

That's noteworthy because his final five was those three schools, plus ALABAMA AND OHIO STATE. Yeah, big time.

LUNTIN' LIKE MY DADDY: Illinois won the battle for Wes Lunt. Good for them! The Champaign Room analyzes what it means. I think we coulda grabbed him if we'd just used the "yo, there's already a building named for you on campus" pitch.

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