They’ve got their story and they’re sticking to it.

The AJ-C’s Tim Tucker follows his colleagues and jumps on board the Penalty Express:

The Bulldogs keep talking a good game about reducing penalties, but so far without sufficient results. They remain the most frequently penalized team among the 119 in Division I-A. You can argue the flags didn’t cost the Bulldogs a game in the first half of the season, because they presumably would have lost to Alabama even if they hadn’t helped the Crimson Tide with penalties. But it’d be hard to argue that the Dogs can keep piling up penalties in the grueling second half of the season without having the problem cost them a game or more.

Sure, just like what happened to TCU, currently ranked 116th nationally in penalties per game, which narrowly defeated #9 BYU last night, 32-7, despite trying to lose the game by committing 10 penalties.

Can we lay off this nonsense once and for all?  Of the nineteen teams ranked at the bottom of the list nationally, nine are ranked in the polls.  In and of themselves, penalty numbers are simply not a relevant factor in winning football games.  If you feel a need to cluck over something about the obstacles Georgia faces in its remaining games, the injury situation would seem to be a more relevant topic to explore.

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9 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

9 responses to “They’ve got their story and they’re sticking to it.

  1. NebraskaDawg

    The individual penalty means more than the total number. The defensive penalty after stopping a team on 4th downs means a lot more than a 2nd and 3 illegal procedure call.

  2. Christian

    This goes directly to my comments yesterday about TM. The AJC senses that they’ve got their finger down on this nerve and are going to keep pressing harder to see the response.

    Otherwise, why would TB, TM and now TT keep this same point percolating over and over.

    All of this reminds me of a quote a friend used to always use: “I refuse to have a battle of wits against an unarmed man”.

    Go Dawgs!

  3. rjsplow

    Some of the best teams over the past 10-15 were also the most penalized. Two examples immediately come to mind: the Miami teams of the earlier part of this decade were penalized all the time, and so was Florida’s national champion team in 2006. It’s not penalties that kill a team per se, timing is way, way more important. Getting a couple offsides penalties because your defensive line is trying to decapitate the quarterback isn’t nearly as bad as a drive-sustaining pass interference call in the 4th quarter with 2 minutes left in the game.

  4. Thinking about the penalty issue this morning…

    Penalties in football are the equivalent to strikeouts (from the hitter’s perspective) in baseball. Neither are good on their face, but they’re not exactly signals of complete failure, either. Babe Ruth struck out a lot. Good teams make a lot of penalties. Etc.

    I watched NC State, who the ESPN crew labeled as a rarely-penalized team, last night. And yeah, they didn’t get called for holding much when the FSU DL was dominating their OL. Maybe they should have? Maybe it would have helped, even? At least you wouldn’t lose the down. Washington doesn’t get penalized a lot. Instead of letting OU destroy their DBs…maybe knock some receivers out, regardless of the flag? Yeah, those PIs hurt Georgia during South Carolina’s last drive…but what if we hadn’t done it? Would USC have caught more balls and had more YAC?

    False starts are lousy, yeah. But other flags are sins of aggression. I can’t hate that.

  5. BEN

    Great point on the injuries…nothing even comes close to holding us back like they will. I think the AJC knows whats coming for their beloved Jackets in late Nov. and want to take a shot at anything they can. What else is new??

  6. NebraskaDawg is absolutely right about the importance of the individual penalty vs. obsessing over the total.

    Case in point: we had only two penalties in the first half of last week’s game. Everyone was pleased…hey, that’s a pretty acceptable number, right? The total (for a half, anyway) was way down.

    But one of those two first half penalties was an offsides call on Asher Allen coming out of a timeout that turned 3rd-and-7 into a much easier 2nd-and-3. Tennessee converted and hit that long pass play on the very next snap to set up their first TD.

    You never know how events would have turned out, but I liked our defense’s chances on 3rd and long having just stuffed the run twice. Instead, they move the chains and it’s soon a 6-point game.

  7. the Coondawg

    Dang, talk about DawgPile the rabbit!!! Sheeesh

  8. Hobnail_Boot

    Let’s not forget that there are actually some good penalties.

    I’m watching Boise State vs. Hawaii. BSU had a guy running free down the middle of the field when a Hawaii defender grabbed him from the neck and tackled him. It was a 15-yard PF for horsecollar, but it kept a sure 7 points off the scoreboard.

  9. mdr

    Wow. Tim Tucker still has a job? I did not know that. Great paper we have there.