The feeling all along in the Alabama camp was that the Crimson Tide were probably going to lose junior defensive end Marcell Dareus for at least a game this season because of his trips to Miami.
The question was: Would it be more than one game?
The Crimson Tide got their answer Thursday. Dareus will miss the first two games, and the NCAA said in its ruling that mitigating circumstances actually carved Dareus’ suspension down from four games to two games.
Now, Alabama faces the likelihood of going up against Penn State the second week of the season without its best offensive player and its best defensive player.
Heisman Trophy running back Mark Ingram will definitely miss the opener against San Jose State after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this week. Getting him back in time to play against the Nittany Lions is probably a stretch.
Alabama coach Nick Saban said Thursday that the Crimson Tide would appeal the NCAA’s decision to try and get Dareus’ penalty reduced to one game.