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Are you spending too much time worrying about penalty yardage, convinced that less leads to more wins?

Few things drive coaches and coordinators more crazy than penalties - especially the completely unavoidable ones that happen before the snap and after the whistle.

Conventional wisdom would lead most to think that the more penalty yardage you have, the less disciplined your players are, and the less W's you put in the win column...but is that true?

I decided to take a quick look at the most and least penalized teams in college football with two weeks left in the regular season, and found some of the results quite surprising.

The top 10 least penalized teams in the country at this point in the season are:

TEAM

PENALTY YARDS PER GAME

RECORD

Boston College

29.1 ypg

5-5

Minnesota

31.2 ypg

5-5

South Carolina

31.9 ypg

7-3

Georgia Tech

32.3 ypg

5-4

Army

35.0 ypg

8-2

Old Dominion

35.5 ypg

4-6

Auburn

35.6 ypg

8-2

Iowa State

36.1 ypg

6-4

Arizona State

36.2 ypg

5-5

Louisiana Tech

37.7 ypg

4-6

The combined record of the least penalized teams in college football? 57-42. Not exactly super-comforting right?

How about the most penalized teams in college football?

TEAM

PENALTY YARDS PER GAME

RECORD

South Florida

85.6 ypg

8-1

Oregon

78.8 ypg

5-5

Texas Tech

78.3 ypg

5-5

Toledo

74.8 ypg

9-2

Cincinnati

74.2 ypg

3-7

UCLA

74.0 ypg

5-5

Kent State

73.7 ypg

2-9

Florida International

73.4 ypg

6-3

UCF

72.6 ypg

9-0

Ohio State

72.2 ypg

8-2

Now, the combined record of the most penalized teams in college football should surely be worse than that of the least penalized teams, right?

You'd be wrong. The combined record of the 10 most penalized teams in college football is slightly better than their counterparts at 60-39.

In all reality, the 3-win margin that separate the the most penalized teams in college football from the least penalized teams is negligible, so focusing your energy on minimizing penalties may not be the best use of your time when you could instead be focusing on turnover margin or something proven to swing things more in your favor.