The rumbles began this morning on Facebook, and by this evening, they had reached PowerMizzou's Gabe Dearmond, who confirmed with sources that Sheldon Richardson will not be playing this Saturday versus Syracuse.
The Richardson suspension, as most are, will be for violation of team rules. Not a legal issue. Won't say more.— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) November 16, 2012
So there you go. Facebook is always right.
A defense is more than one person, and Mizzou still has a good defensive line without Richardson, but there's no question that his suspension lowers the ceiling of the Missouri defense. Losing your best player tends to do that. This does a favor to an already solid Syracuse offensive line and puts pressure on other members of the front seven to make up the difference. It doesn't change my prediction for the game much ... but it does annoy me. There are either two or three games remaining in this season, and now I only get one or two more chances to watch Sheldon in a Mizzou uniform (and his absence makes the bowl game at least a little bit less likely). That's frustrating, but that's also the 2012 season in a nutshell.