Ignominious honor: SEC led nation in targeting penalties in 2016

John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports

The SEC led all FBS conferences in ejections for targeting during the 2016 season, statistics compiled by CBS Sports show.

During the 2016 season, the SEC had 29 instances in which a player was called for targeting. Of those, three were overturned, but 26 were upheld — easily the most among FBS conferences.

The SEC’s 26 ejections — an average of nearly two per team – were followed by the ACC with 18. Then came the Big Ten and Pac-12 (16 each), Conference USA and MAC (14 each), the Sun Belt (13) and the American Athletic, Big 12 and Mountain West (eight each).

Targeting ejections have steadily increased, from 31 in 2013 to 144 last season, although recently proposed rule adjustments could lessen the number of ejections.

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