Having discipline is just one of the many features that elite college football teams possess. Understanding how to play the game the right way, without being penalized, is essential for any successful program.

But is there a direct correlation between penalties and winning and losing? While we know the answer differs from game-to-game, we wanted to take a closer look and see if the best teams in the B1G were also the least penalized.

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Some of the high penalty numbers from Ohio State and Michigan State might be a little surprising. So might the low totals from programs like Iowa and Northwestern.

Look, we all know penalties are going to happen. Even the most elite athletes in the game are bound to make a few mistakes now and then. It’s just the nature of the game. But which teams have been in the habit of committing too many penalties, and which squads are playing really disciplined football?

We’ve dissected the penalty numbers for each team in the B1G over the last five years. Here’s what the results show, measuring from the most penalties and penalty yardage to the fewest:

Total Penalties (2013-2017)

B1G TEAM TOTAL PENALTIES
Ohio State 411
Nebraska 396
Michigan State 392
Maryland 391
Indiana 381
Illinois 375
Rutgers 358
Michigan 332
Minnesota 326
Penn State 319
Wisconsin 318
Purdue 313
Iowa 302
Northwestern 279

Total Penalty Yardage (2013-2017)

B1G TEAM TOTAL PENALTY YARDAGE
Ohio State 3,601
Nebraska 3,583
Michigan State 3,552
Maryland 3,474
Indiana 3,414
Illinois 3,228
Rutgers 2,985
Michigan 2,943
Wisconsin 2,938
Minnesota 2,748
Purdue 313
Penn State 2,644
Iowa 2,563
Northwestern 2,481

Penalties Per Game (2013-2017)

B1G TEAM PENALTIES PER GAME
Maryland 6.21
Nebraska 6.19
Illinois 6.15
Indiana 6.15
Ohio State 5.96
Michigan State 5.94
Rutgers 5.77
Michigan 5.19
Purdue 5.13
Minnesota 5.09
Wisconsin 318
Penn State 4.91
Wisconsin 4.68
Iowa 4.58
Northwestern 4.43

Penalty Yards Per Game (2013-2017)

B1G TEAM PENALTY YARDS PER GAME
Nebraska 55.98
Maryland 55.14
Indiana 55.06
Michigan State 53.82
Illinois 52.92
Ohio State 52.19
Rutgers 48.15
Michigan 45.98
Purdue 45.66
Wisconsin 43.21
Minnesota 42.94
Penn State 40.68
Northwestern 39.38
Iowa 38.83