It’s been rather quiet from Alabama, Michigan State and Oklahoma heading into the second college football playoff. Clemson decided to break the silence by suspending Deon Cain, Ammon Lakip and Jay Jay McCullough from the Orange Bowl, which is also a semifinal against the Sooners.
They are suspended for failing a drug test. While there’s no knowledge of what it is – marijuana or something else, with Lakip already having a history with cocaine possession, it’s not difficult to make a not-so-wild guess, at least about him.
But Clemson doing the right thing is also about which players these are. It’s not so certain that Deshaun Watson, the team’s Heisman candidate quarterback would have been so easily suspended had he been caught for what some think is a minor violation, and happens within the team confines, not something the NCAA caught them on.
Cain is an important player, the team’s best deep threat, with five touchdowns this season and the second leading receiver on the team behind Artavis Scott. But if there’s on position in which the Tigers are deep, it’s wide receiver. McCullough is a backup tight end without a single reception this season, which means it’s not going to affect them at all. Lakip, a kicker, is there for kickoffs and extra points at times, but Gregg Huegel is the team’s first kicker so once again – it’s not that big of a loss.
The #1 Tigers are in the playoffs for the first time, facing an Oklahoma team that’s also making its debut in the final four of the new format.While suspensions and injuries are always a good excuse for fans to use if their team loses, last season seeing Ohio State go all the way with their third string quarterback means that nothing is a good enough excuse, and Clemson should handle it either way, if they’re good enough to beat Oklahoma and then Alabama or Michigan State, trying to win their first national title since 1981 (AP).