Saban caused a stir last October when he wondered aloud: "Is this what we want football to be?"
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema and Auburn's Gus Malzahn, who runs his own variation of the no-huddle, offered very different takes at SEC media days about whether fast-paced offenses present an injury hazard to defensive players who can't get relief from subs. Malzahn said he initially thought that theory was a joke and Bielema countered that he's no comedian.
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin isn't about to downshift.
"We're going to go as fast as we possibly can," Sumlin said. "I haven't seen anything to support the player safety argument. Anything that's within in the rules, that's the way football is. That's any sport. Whether it's baseball and you're stealing bases or whether it's basketball and you're a fast break, full-court press team, that's within the rules.
"Just because you don't want to play that style doesn't mean that that's not the way the game should be played."
It's hard to argue with the results. Sumlin's offenses have ranked in the top three nationally in total yards four of the past five years at Texas A&M and Houston.
Through two games against weaker competition, the Aggies have amassed 117 points and 1,200 yards.
Alabama allowed just 153 points in 14 games last season.
Texas A&M wide receiver Malcome Kennedy said coaches have stressed tempo even more for this game.
"The offense is going to move very fast," said Kennedy, who scored what proved to be the decisive touchdown last season. "Coach has already said that we're focusing on tempo this week. Us being able to run and pass, and we know it got on their nerves last year. So we want to be like that this year and hopefully it will turn out well."
Texas A&M's success on third downs kept the offense sprinting along last season, and Alabama's defense on its heels. The Aggies had three first downs and two touchdowns on its five third-down plays in the first quarter of that 29-24 win. They converted on 11 of 18 tries.
Saban said the Aggies' offensive prowess isn't just about speed.
"To me, it's not the scheme," he said. "It's not the going fast, it's their ability to do those things and execute extremely well in terms of what they do. And their players have a lot of confidence in it and they do a really good job of it."