Imagine if some guy came up to you right before today's Gannon game at Clarion and whispered, "Psst -- buddy! Wanna make a bet? You can earn $50k easy. Here's the deal: You put in 50 grand and I'll put in 50, too. Winner takes all $100k. The cherry on top is that I give you Clarion plus 8 for today's game. It's a no-brainer, pal. You get the favorite plus 8 points."
While you're pondering the offer, the guy offers up these facts going into the game:
* The Knights have lost 3 in a row and 4-of-5, the only W at home over stinky Lock Haven. Clarion, meanwhile, has won two straight and 3-of-4. Their two most recent wins were at IUP (where Gannon was throttled by 20) and a 111-38 drubbing of Lock Haven. Clarion led that game 57-11 at the break. When Gannon played the Bald Eagles, GU struggled to earn a 2-point halftime advantage.
* Gannon is just 1-5 on the road this year. In each of their 5 road losses they fell behind by 17 points and struggled just to make the game competitive (except at Cheyney where the Wolves devoured them by 19). Clarion is riding an 11-game home win streak, a 17-of-18 stretch at the Waldo Tippin Gymnasium dating back to last year. One of those W's was a 19-point drubbing the Golden Eagles put on the Knights Jan. 16 last year.
* Look at the PSAC West head-to-head matchups this season:
vs. Edinboro: CU +10, GU -8; an 18-point Clarion advantage
vs. IUP: CU +5, GU -20 ; a 25-point Clarion advantage
vs. Lock Haven: CU +gazillion (actually +73), GU +27; a 46-point Clarion advantage
vs. Mercyhurst: CU -9 in OT, GU -4 in OT; a 5-point Gannon advantage but keep in mind Gannon played the 'Hurst at home while Clarion went on the road
The numbers, the stats, the trends -- they're all saying to lay down the $50k and you'll be getting double your money right after the game. Then the guy offers the clincher. "And the only way I can win is if the final score is in the form of a palindrome. What's it gonna be, buddy? You in?"
I hope you didn't take the bet. After Gannon's surprising 76-67 victory today, you'd be paying up. I can't figure it out either. I just hope the same thing happens Wednesday at Slippery Rock so the Knights stay in the PSAC West race.