Commentary

Worst matchups for BCS contenders

LSU, OSU, Bama, OU and Oregon don't want to see these opponents in a title game

Updated: November 16, 2011, 12:41 PM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
LaMichael JamesMatthew Emmons/US PresswireLSU might not mind facing Oregon in a title game matchup. Oklahoma State is another story.

The old saying "Timing is everything" usually is used to describe when someone takes the right path toward an achievement, but the truth is that bad timing can have just as much impact as good timing.

That mindset is worth remembering when it comes to the potential BCS title game matchups. All five major contenders for that contest (LSU, Oklahoma State, Alabama, Oregon and Oklahoma) need some things to go their way to get there, but they also need to avoid the bad luck of facing the team that is best suited to defeat them.

So which teams should each contender hope it doesn't face in the title tilt? The answers might be surprising.

1. LSU Tigers

Team to avoid: Oklahoma State

During the course of coach Les Miles' career, it has been next to impossible to beat his team without winning the turnover battle.

Check out the chart to the right to see his career record in games in which he has won, tied or lost the turnover battle.

That means Miles has a 76-16 record whenever his team does not lose the turnover margin. Since he took over in Death Valley, Miles has a 56-8 record when the Tigers had a non-negative turnover margin.

Miles' performance actually has gotten more impressive over time, as he hasn't lost a game in which his team had a positive turnover ratio since 2009 (16 straight victories). That has been very important in the Tigers' 10-0 start this season, as LSU has won the turnover battle in all but one of its games against teams that play in BCS automatic qualifier (AQ) conferences.

This illustrates why it is paramount for the Tigers' opponent to get an advantage in turnover margin, and the team that is best suited to do this is the Cowboys. According to cfbstats.com, the Cowboys lead the FBS in turnover margin per game (average 1.8 more turnovers per contest than their opponent) and total turnovers (34).


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