Do referees have it out for any particular SEC school?

Fans complain week-in and week-out about the number of penalties officials call on their team; so, we thought it’d be interesting to look at the penalties over the last five seasons to get an idea.

A team-by-team breakdown is below sorted by penalties per game.

SEC team penalties per game, last 5 seasons

Source: cfbstats.com

RankTeamGPenPen. Yds.Pen/GYds/G
1Florida624363,5627.0357.45
2Missouri654133,3246.3551.14
3LSU633913,2616.2151.76
4Ole Miss633703,0615.8748.59
5Texas A&M653803,3295.8551.22
6Georgia673833,1075.7246.37
7Vanderbilt623452,8905.5646.61
8Kentucky623413,1045.5050.06
9Alabama713773,1465.3144.31
10Auburn673483,0805.1945.97
11Tennessee633222,6615.1142.24
12Miss State653322,8615.1144.02
13South Carolina643262,7175.0942.45
14Arkansas633102,7044.9242.92

Most penalties per game by season

2017: Florida 8.0
2016: Florida 6.8
2015: LSU 8.1
2014: Missouri 7.3
2013: Florida 7.4

Most penalized programs in the last 5 years

1. Florida Gators: It’s almost a broken record. The Gators are usually the most penalized team in the SEC. If they aren’t the most penalized, they’re definitely in top three. They were consistently penalized during Urban Meyer’s tenure, and it continued through Will Muschamp’s and Jim McElwain’s. Interestingly, Mississippi State was one of the least penalized teams under Dan Mullen the last few years, and it’ll be interesting if things change for the better during his tenure. The Gators averaged a whopping eight penalties per game in 2017.

2. Missouri Tigers: Missouri’s two least penalized years came in 2015 and 2017 where they finished No. 7 in the SEC both times. The Tigers’ worst season by far came in 2014, when they averaged an SEC worst 7.3 per game, yielding a whopping 815 yards during that season. Last year, however, the Tigers finished No. 12 in the SEC just above Ole Miss and Florida. Now, Derek Dooley takes the reins of the offense, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens. During Dooley’s Tennessee years from 2010-12, the Vols finished ninth, fourth and 11th.

3. LSU Tigers: Like Florida, LSU is always penalized heavily. Of the last five seasons, LSU’s 8.1 penalties per game in 2015 still is the most of any year. Last year under Matt Canada, the Tigers offense averaged 5.8 penalties per game. LSU’s best year came in 2016 when it averaged just 4.8 per game. Now, Steve Ensminger takes over the Tigers’ unit, and we’ll see what type of impact he has in this category. The first objective, however, is to find a QB.