Nick Saban has decided to throw a little gasoline on the fire, as if the Alabama and Louisiana State game, set for Nov. 3 in Tuscaloosa, really needed it.
At last week's Southeastern Conference media days, Saban said that C.C. Thompson, a member of his staff, had the tires slashed on her car when she went back to Baton Rouge to attend a wedding. Thompson worked for Saban at LSU and the Miami Dolphins.
LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette disputed the story, according to Scott Rabalais of the Baton Rouge Advocate. Bonnette called Thompson and "she told him that she initially thought her tires had been slashed but that someone had merely let the air out of them. A serious headache, but not the same degree of vandalism."
Les Miles downplayed the game with Alabama at SEC media days, but when asked about it was careful not mention the words "Alabama" or "Nick Saban."
Back in Baton Rouge, Saban's latest chatter is like a rerun. Writes Carl DuBois of the Advocate: "To Alabama fans, the words are new. The courtship is fresh. The speeches inspire. To ears that heard it all in five years in Baton Rouge, there is something subtle and a bit surprising underneath the familiar phrases.
"They do not have the same gravity, the same cocksure force-of-nature feel to them as when Saban was a rival of the Crimson Tide instead of their coach."
Nov. 3 can't get here soon enough.