The SEC’s least penalized teams over the last five years

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Penalties are frustrating for players, coaches and fans. Penalties can kill drives and are momentum halters.

The SEC has some of the most penalized teams in the country year after year. Why? Some of it has to do with the lack of discipline, while some of it has to do with the loud stadiums teams play in weekly.

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Which SEC teams have been the most penalized over the last five years? Here’s a breakdown, from the least to the most:

Rank Team G Pen Pen. Yds Pen/G Yds/G
1 Alabama 67 301 2,444 4.49 36.48
2 Kentucky 62 313 2,670 5.05 43.06
3 Miss State 64 331 2,718 5.17 42.47
4 Tennessee 62 345 2,735 5.56 44.11
5 Ole Miss 63 354 2,905 5.62 46.11
6 Vanderbilt 63 363 2,871 5.76 45.57
7 South Carolina 66 368 2,979 5.58 45.14
8 Arkansas 63 391 3,092 6.21 49.08
9 Auburn 66 396 3,438 6.00 52.09
10 LSU 66 433 3,423 6.56 51.86
11 Georgia 67 438 3,453 6.54 51.54
12 Florida 65 490 3,859 7.54 59.37
Missouri* 26 139 1,062 5.35 40.85
Texas A&M* 26 161 1,425 6.19 54.81

*Based on 2012-13 results

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Couple takeaways:

  • Alabama has committed the least amount of penalties despite playing more games than every other team except Georgia. The Tide average just 4.49 penalties per game. It seems like Florida averages that per drive. How does Alabama continually commit the least amount of penalties? Could it be that they take on the discipline of their head coach? It’s interesting.
  • Florida is holding true to their billing as continually the SEC’s most penalized team over the last five years. Florida averages over 7.5 penalties per game, and they have committed 52 more penalties than the next closest team in Georgia. I asked Will Muschamp about UF continually dominating this stat, and he quickly pointed out that Florida has always been the most penalized team, even when they were winning championships. Lately, however, the penalties have marred drives and extended opponents’ drives.
  • Florida finished 102nd, 114th and 89th committed in the country in the number of penalties under Muschamp’s teams.
  • Of the teams that won BCS championships since 2006, only Alabama is even in the top eight. Auburn, LSU and Florida are outside that range, committing six penalties or more per game.

Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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