LSU Football: What Do Suspensions to Ware, Mathieu and Simon Mean for Tigers?

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2011

LSU Football: What Do Suspensions to Ware, Mathieu and Simon Mean for Tigers?

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    Just when everything seemed to be going picture perfect for the No.1-ranked LSU Tigers, some shocking news came about today that could leave Les Miles' team without several of their top players for an extended period of time.

    The LSU student newspaper, The Daily Reveille, first reported today that LSU has suspended star cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, running back Spencer Ware and defensive back Tharold Simon for the Tigers' game this Saturday against Auburn. The three players were suspended because they reportedly failed drug tests.

    The word right now is that the suspension will take place for the Auburn and could stem beyond that. But head coach Les Miles would not confirm the suspensions.

    Let's break down this big news and take an inside look at what it would mean for the Tigers going forward.

What It Means to the Team

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    What it means to the team is that LSU will be forced to play against the defending national champions without arguably their two best players.

    Mathieu is having an All-American season on the defensive side of the ball. He already has set the school record for fumble recoveries, and he is only in his sophomore season.

    Mathieu was a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate before this incident took place.

    Ware is the team's leading rusher and one of the top backs in the SEC. He has rushed for 512 yards and six touchdowns in the team's seven games this season.

    Simon is also a key to the top secondary in the nation, recording 29 tackles and an interception.

    Without that production, LSU could be in a world of trouble.

Can LSU Beat Auburn Without Them?

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    The good news is that Auburn lost a ton of talent from last year's national championship team and aren't even close to the team they were a year ago.

    But the bad news for LSU is that this is still a good Auburn football team, and a loss could really mess up the Tigers' promising season.

    On offense, Auburn's best threat is the running game, and luckily for LSU, both Mathieu and Simon don't play a huge role in stopping the run.

    Auburn is starting a Clint Moseley at quarterback this week, his first start for the team. That is a sigh of relief for LSU considering they will be without two of their top defensive backs.

    Losing Ware will hurt on offense, but the Tigers are deep at running back and should dominate the line of scrimmage in this one.

    Playing without those three will hurt, but the Tigers should make it through with a win.

Does This Slow LSU's Run to the BCS Title Game?

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    These suspensions will affect the Auburn game, but they shouldn't affect the game to the point where it puts the Tigers in real jeopardy of losing the game.

    Now, if these three miss the Alabama game, well, that's another story.

    LSU's national title hopes hinge of these three being suspended because they made a stupid decision at the absolute dumbest time to make that type of choice. All we can do is wait and see how much that choice comes to hurt this team in the long run.

    A loss anywhere in the schedule would most likely leave the Tigers on the outside looking in.

Will They Play Against Alabama?

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    LSU coach Les Miles would not even confirm that the three players were suspended for the game against Auburn, not less what would happen when their Nov. 5 matchup against Alabama rolled around.

    Therefore, my guess is really as good as yours.

    According to USA Today, this is what Miles said when asked about the suspensions during his press conference.

    "I certainly understand the interest surrounding what seems to be news," Miles began at his regularly scheduled Wednesday night press conference. "The problem with that news is it's internal discipline and internal function of a team. I'm not inclined to be forthcoming in information. I am not reactionary to needs of media and things external to this building. When there's information that I can share, I will."

    If I had to take a guess, I would say that these three would be back for the Alabama game, because it sounds like an internal punishment that will be handed out by the university, not the NCAA.

    But again, my guess is as good as yours.

Will LSU Win a National Championship Without the Three?

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    Simply put, no, they will not.

    As good as LSU's defensive backfield is, Tyrann Mathieu is their rock back there, and without question, he is having the best season of any defensive back in the country.

    As good as LSU's depth is at the running back position, Spencer Ware is their go-to guy who is the leader of this young running back core.

    The Tigers need these three if they are going to beat Alabama on Nov. 5, and they certainly need them if they are going to have any hopes of getting to and winning a national championship this season.

    Now, all we can do is sit back and see how this all plays out over the next couple of days.