Penalties drive both coaches and fans nuts. They’re drive killers and momentum lynchers. However, if you think the volume of penalties can change the outcome of a game, just wait until the refs start tossing players at their discretion for ‘targeting’ on personal fouls in 2013.
Personal foul penalties like taunting, late hits and roughing the passer are equally frustrating and sometimes worrisome for coaches.
The SEC has some of the most penalized teams in the country year after year. Some of it has to due to the lack of discipline, while much of it has to do with the massive, loud stadiums teams clash in weekly. Or could there be a conspiracy?
Let’s take a look at last five years in penalty rankings from CBStats.com.
*Based on 2012 results
- Is it a surprise that Alabama has committed the least number of penalties four of the last five years? Nick Saban commands discipline, but so does Will Muschamp. Does Saban own SEC refs, too? Some would attest he does.
- Florida is continually the most penalized team in the SEC. In fact, the Gators finished last or second to last five of the last six years among conference members. Does it have something to do with the heat and humidity, or is it because the lack of discipline? Some of it has to do with the noise at The Swamp, but then again, Bryant-Denny Stadium can be just as loud and humid.
- Just in the last five years, Florida has committed 503 penalties in 67 games (7.5 per game) for a total of 3,987 yards (59.51 yards per game). Florida also has not finished in the top 100 in the last five years in penalties committed and has averaged over 100 penalties each year, compared to Alabama’s average of 59.
- Similarly, Georgia has been one of the most penalized teams in addition to Florida. The Bulldogs have committed 467 penalties in 67 games (6.97 per game) for a total of 3,774 yards (56.33 yards per game).
Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports