I performed a t test comparing the penalties called on LSU and Alabama during the regular season over the ten years from 2003 to 2012. I took the data of penalties each game from the official LSU and Alabama sites. Over this period each team played 118 games.
LSU's penalties per year goes like this: 89, 73, 74, 76, 76, 104, 74, 91, 67, 89.
Alabama's penalties per year: 48, 48, 63, 63, 48, 55, 70, 70, 66, 69.
LSU's average penalties per game is 6.8898.
Alabama's average penalties per game is 5.0847.
Using the t test comparing all the games, I get a p value of 0.0001! This means that there is certainly a difference between the penalties of these two teams. The important question is why?
I see two possible explanations.
1. Alabama is a more disciplined team. I find this to be highly unlikely as they would have to be more disciplined consistently of over a ten year period which included multiple different coaches on each team, including one coach who coached at both schools!
2. There is a bias for Alabama. This is much more likely. It would not take a conspiracy, just the subtle bias that is a result of the current structure of the SEC head offices. Also seems likely when we look at the other areas where Alabama seems to have created an advantage for itself.
This suggests that we aren't as disciplined and play more aggressive football. Which, contrary to your belief, is actually more likely than a bias towards alabama.
Evidence Strongly Suggesting Alabama Officiating Bias
Which, contrary to your belief, is actually more likely than a bias towards alabama.
So why did Saban coached LSU teams commit much more penalties than the ones at Bama?
I know a Bama fan would say "He's a better coach here than he was there".
It does raise eyebrows