Incompetent Pac-12 Refs (SPTRs): Leading the Nation in Penalties

Harry How

Bumped. GO BRUINS. - BN Eds.

First off, thanks to Fox71 and BillytheSid for getting the ball rolling on this topic. Great fanpost here from Billy, with contributions from uclanicks, that I thought would be neat to expand on and graph out.

Using data from College Football Statistics, I calculated the number of penalties per play for each of the AQ conferences, as well as U.C.L.A., from 2005 through 2012.


As you can see, the Pac-10/12 is clearly leading the nation in penalties, while the Big 10 is consistently among the least penalized. Not sure what changes the Big 12 refs made after 2009, but the result is enviable.

Look at that 2012 spike from U.C.L.A.! Since it coincides with an improved record, it’s a little more palatable, but will surely bite us in the butt this year if it isn't cleaned up, especially with Stanford and Oregon looming.


  • Figures include ONLY conference games (pre-conference and post-season have been excluded)
  • Special teams plays are not included
  • Conference figures include only those teams that belonged to a conference in a given year (e.g., Utah and Colorado are excluded from Pac-12 numbers until 2011)

The table below shows the number of plays per penalty, which is the opposite of the graph above (but in line with the presentation here). Numbers have been color-coded with red representing more penalties, and green less.


The disparity between the Pac-10/12 and the other conferences is clear.

Thanks, buddy!


Photo per Glasses Ref on twitter, @GlassesRef

And here, for the Pac:


Again, red = bad, green = good (relatively speaking). Curious is ASUs phenomenal decrease in penalties in 2012, especially given that they were among the worst in the Pac for the years leading up to it. Todd Graham? CRN had a somewhat similar effect on us after his first year… uh, thanks?

As always, constructive feedback is welcome. Please let me know if you think there is something else that would be interesting to see, or if you have ideas on how better to present the data.

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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