Big Lead Sports Bar


Scrawler: The Huggins or Dixon Debates

by The Backyard Scrawler

Comparisons are planted in our sporting discourse every day. They come neatly packaged in forced sponsored segments with a not-so-catchy name of, say, Cold Hard Fact or Fiction, Power Points and Six Pack of 60-Second Questions for the Hot-Seated Roundtable.

They usually involve some farcical apples-to-oranges debate that compares the accomplishments of an athlete from one era to another or even athletes from totally different sports. (Anyone wanna compare Tiger’s 15-foot putt in the Masters to Jordan’s fade-away jumper in the Finals?)

But there was one debate a few months ago with enough practicality that made me question Pitt and West Virginia basketball fans alike. In the November issue of the Pittsburgh Sports Report, the “Showdown” question was asked: “Who Would You Rather Have Coaching Your Basketball Program: Jamie Dixon or Bob Huggins?”

ESPN Radio’s Joe De Stio gladly did the honors on Dixon’s behalf and it seemed there weren’t any takers brave enough for Huggins, so Mike Mathison of the Steubenville Herald-Star had to suffice.

Pitt fans would find this resurfaced question somewhat convenient during the eve of watching the Mountaineers, and not their Big East Champion Panthers, play in the Sweet Sixteen.

However, with all the recent acclaim and reverence for Huggins and another Big Dance flop for Dixon, are there any others who are willing to turn to the Dark Side? How bout it, Bob Smizik?

How many NCAA Tournament wins is worth having your team’s grade-point average lowered a few notches? Does it really matter to you that your team’s players can win in March AND on Jeopardy?

Both coaches are winners. They are both proven recruiters with less-than-proven postseason resumes, only Huggins is a bigger name with a past that is ruffled more than Dixon’s hair is slick.

People like Junker & Crow with their “Five Burning Questions” seem to think that WVU winning one more NCAA Tournament game than Pitt is not as praiseworthy as the Panthers winning the Big East title. And there’s no telling how loyal or how sober Huggins will be in Morgantown. But as long as he keeps advancing the Mountaineers further than Pitt in the NCAA Tournament you can’t help but side with Huggins in this argument.

Additional reading for Pitt and WVU fans:

For Pitt fans, your hated rivals to south are also “a disgrace to all underdogs.”
For WVU fans, apparently Bob Huggins is healer of all Rich Rodriguez wounds.

No comments: