Calling Bullshit

We like to call bullshit around here.

Along with channeling Ernest Hemingway and laundering Nepalese opium cartel funds through a complicated scheme involving on-line sales of designer T-shirts, calling bullshit is one of the core missions of Barking Carnival.

And our own head coach just served up a heaping pile in his weekly press conference.

The pile is so deep and wide in Mack's double-standard-driven and downright deceptive defense of Greg Davis, that it's impossible to address it all in the time I've allotted for drafting this post (you have been given 3 minutes of my day's effort). So, I'll focus on one quote that sent me through the figurative roof:

We only forced two turnovers, and we have to have a minimum of three per week we feel like to win the game.

Let that sink in. Mack is saying that he has determined that the team cannot win a game without 3 turnovers. Because the defense only snared two in the Baylor game, it failed on this metric and the team lost.

Because Mack could sell ice cubes to Eskimos, that sounds like a reasonable criticism of the defense. But it's bullshit. Here's why:

First, three forced turnovers per game is a nearly impossible goal. Only one team in all of college football - Oregon - is averaging 3 or more turnovers per game. No team in 2009 gained 3 turnovers per game (the closest was Ohio State at 2.7; the outstanding Texas defense, led by ballhawk Earl Thomas, was 2nd nationally with 2.64). So, in order to slander the defense, Mack has assigned a nearly-impossible goal for them on a statistic that is, in large part, attributable to luck. And he just casually mentions it in a press conference, as if it's a perfectly reasonable expectation when, in fact, it's absurd.

Second, why do we need 3 takeaways to win every game? Other teams go undefeated with less than 3 turnovers per game (Alabama in 2010 averaged 2.2; Texas in 2005 averaged 2.1). The reason that the defense has to do the nearly-impossible is that the offense is incapable of doing its job. To win, the defense has to compensate for the offense's gross incompetence. Of course, Mack doesn't mention this. Instead, he focuses on the defense's inability to meet his astronomical goals and ignores the offense's inability to meet any goals whatsoever.

Through a combination of rhetorical wizardry, glaringly-biased goal-setting and lies-by-omission, Mack has taken the offense's depressing impotence and transformed it into a failure... by the defense.

But you, fortunate reader, have Barking Carnival bookmarked in your web browser. And, as such, you get to see when we call bullshit.

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