The Ultimate Site for College Football Stats Junkies

Split Statistics

All stat categories broken down by game location, game result, playing surface, opponent, and month. Split statistics are provided by team and player.

Situational Statistics

Rushing, passing, and receiving broken down by half, quarter, down and distance, field position, and score. Situational statistics are provided by team and player.

Leader Boards

Sortable national and conference leaders for teams and players, for all games and by split statistics.

Forgotten Penalties

October 29th, 2008

Every college football box score has a line that includes the number of penalties in the game for each team. Here at cfbstats.com, there is a leader board that ranks the FBS teams on the total number of penalties for the season.

The number of penalties in the box scores and the rankings do not reflect the number of penalties actually called, only the number of penalties that are accepted. However, when it comes to assessing a team’s tendency to be called for penalties, the declined and offset penalties should count just as much as the accepted penalties. Other than personal foul penalties and the like, whether a penalty is accepted or not is usually determined by the game situation (down, distance, score, field position, time left in the half, etc.) rather than the penalty itself.

In 510 games so far this season, 6818 penalties have been called, of which 6165 (90.4%) have been accepted and 653 (9.6%) have been declined or offset. Almost 10% of called penalties are declined or offset, and become forgotten penalties as far as the official statistics are concerned.

The FBS teams with the most forgotten penalties this season:

Team Total Accepted Forgotten Forgotten %
Arkansas 70 58 12 17.14%
Eastern Michigan 59 47 12 20.34%
Temple 73 62 11 15.07%
Minnesota 61 50 11 18.03%
Kentucky 53 42 11 20.75%
Marshall 44 33 11 25.00%
Florida Atlantic 71 61 10 14.08%
Army 38 28 10 26.32%
Louisiana-Monroe 68 59 9 13.24%
Auburn 63 54 9 14.29%
North Carolina State 57 49 8 14.04%
Middle Tennessee 57 49 8 14.04%
LSU 52 44 8 15.38%
Georgia Tech 52 44 8 15.38%
Kent State 48 40 8 16.67%
Alabama 45 37 8 17.78%
Buffalo 41 33 8 19.51%

On the other end, Indiana, UCLA, and Michigan have no forgotten penalties — every penalty against them this season has been accepted.

The FBS teams with the highest percentage of forgotten penalties:

Team Total Accepted Forgotten Forgotten %
Army 38 28 10 26.32%
Marshall 44 33 11 25.00%
Ball State 33 26 7 21.21%
Kentucky 53 42 11 20.75%
Eastern Michigan 59 47 12 20.34%
Buffalo 41 33 8 19.51%
Minnesota 61 50 11 18.03%
Alabama 45 37 8 17.78%
Arkansas 70 58 12 17.14%
Wake Forest 35 29 6 17.14%
Kent State 48 40 8 16.67%
Vanderbilt 38 32 6 15.79%
LSU 52 44 8 15.38%
Georgia Tech 52 44 8 15.38%
Temple 73 62 11 15.07%

Finally, the FBS teams with the highest number of total penalties (accepted plus forgotten):

Team Total Accepted Forgotten Forgotten % Total Rank Accepted Rank
TCU 88 83 5 5.68% 1 1
Georgia 80 76 4 5.00% 2 2
Hawaii 76 69 7 9.21% 3 3
South Florida 75 69 6 8.00% 4 3
Temple 73 62 11 15.07% 5 11
Florida Atlantic 71 61 10 14.08% 6 13
Arkansas 70 58 12 17.14% 7 18
Florida State 70 63 7 10.00% 7 9
Southern Miss. 70 64 6 8.57% 7 7
Washington State 70 65 5 7.14% 7 6
Louisiana-Monroe 68 59 9 13.24% 11 17
Nebraska 68 64 4 5.88% 11 7
Texas Tech 68 66 2 2.94% 11 5
Stanford 67 60 7 10.45% 14 15
Utah State 65 61 4 6.15% 15 13
BYU 65 62 3 4.62% 15 11
Oklahoma State 65 63 2 3.08% 15 9
USC 64 57 7 10.94% 18 23
New Mexico 64 60 4 6.25% 18 15
Auburn 63 54 9 14.29% 20 29
Florida 63 57 6 9.52% 20 23
Ohio 63 58 5 7.94% 20 18

The last two columns show the rankings when sorted by total penalties (Total Rank) and the rankings when sorted by accepted penalties (Accepted Rank). Moving into the top 10 are Temple that goes from 11th in accepted penalties to 5th in total penalties, Florida Atlantic that goes from 13th to 6th, and Arkansas that goes from 18th to 7th. Kentucky is the biggest gainer overall, going up 27 spots from 83rd to 55th.

Moving out of the top 10 are Texas Tech that goes from 5th to 11th, Nebraska that goes from 7th to 11th, and Oklahoma State that goes from 9th to 15th. UCLA and Indiana dropped the most overall, both going down 21 spots from 60th to 81st.

The complete list can be downloaded here.