By The Numbers: Louisville Penalties

Penalties have been a hot topic at Louisville ever since: ____________ (Hint: When we stopped winning games). After compiling nine more infractions at North Carolina on Saturday afternoon, the Cardinals will likely move from seventh worst into the bottom five in FBS penalties committed per game at the end of week six.

The following is meant to be an objective collection of data to add to the discussion; feel free to draw your own conclusions.

Charlie Strong:

2011: Louisville (2-3) has the second youngest FBS team and is currently averaging 8.6 penalties per game (Sagarin* SOS: 139)
2010: Louisville (7-6) had the second oldest FBS team and averaged 7.9 penalties per game (SOS: 75)

Tenure average: 8.25 penalties per game; SOS average: 107

Steve Kragthorpe:

2009: Louisville (4-8) averaged 6.5 penalties per game (SOS: 25)
2008: Louisville (5-7) averaged 6.25 penalties per game (SOS: 81)
2007: Louisville (6-6) returns 85% of Orange Bowl champion team, averaged 7.75 penalties per game (SOS: 51)

Tenure average: 6.8 penalties per game; SOS average: 52

Bobby Petrino:

2006: Louisville's (12-1) Orange Bowl (Wake Forest) champs averaged 5 penalties per game (SOS: 27)
2005: Louisville's (9-3) Gator Bowl team (VTech) averaged 7 penalties per game (SOS: 68)
2004: Louisville's (11-1) Liberty Bowl champs (Boise State) averaged 5.6 penalties per game (SOS: 82)
2003: Louisville's (9-4) GMAC Bowl team (Miami, OH) averaged 7.5 penalties per game (SOS: 104)

Tenure average: 6.2 penalties per game; SOS average: 70

John L. Smith:

2002: Louisville's (7-6) GMAC Bowl team averaged 10.3 (!) penalties per game (SOS: 74)
2001: Louisville's (11-2) Liberty Bowl champs (BYU) averaged 8 penalties per game (SOS: 84)
2000: Louisville's (9-3) Liberty Bowl team (Colorado State)averaged 10.1 penalties per game (SOS: 85)
1999: Louisville's (7-5) Humanitarian Bowl team (Boise State) averaged 10.75 (!) penalties per game (SOS: 75)
*1998 data unavailable from

Tenure average: 9.8 penalties per game; SOS average: 79


*SOS (Strength of schedule) stats, compiled by Jeff Sagarin for USA Today, account for all 246 FBS & FCS football team schedules. The SOS' are included here b/c Sagarin is widely considered the most popular computer ranking of the six that feed into the BCS formula and I think level of competition plays a factor. One could argue against this point but I think there's some validity there.

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