COLUMBIA - A quip about Steve Spurrier's recent raise might have woken up South Carolina's ball coach, who sounds more than ready to spar with another member of the Bowden family.
It was well into Clemson's early December gathering about bowl preparations when coach Tommy Bowden, fresh off a 7-5 regular season, was asked about the nearly half-million dollar raise Spurrier received after also going 7-5.
"It's amazing how this thing works because I'm at a place where seven gets you fired. He's at a place where seven gets you a raise," Bowden said.
Bowden's line got a chuckle from the room. It also apparently got Spurrier's attention.
Spurrier fired back a couple of weeks later, telling Bowden if he hoped for a similar raise to talk to his bosses and find out if they think he's as good as coach as Spurrier or others.
Now twice in the past week, Spurrier had pointed words for his in-state rival.
The latest jab came last Sunday when Spurrier denied he tried to take assistant Chris Rumph away from the Tigers.
"Someone in the Upstate is lying," Spurrier told The (Columbia) State on Sunday.
Spurrier's statement followed word that Bowden, through a school spokesman, had said Rumph was called by a South Carolina assistant. Spurrier remains unsure how Clemson got the idea he wanted Rumph.
"I don't know how they arrived at that," he said Wednesday. "You'd have to ask them."
Bowden did not want to comment, according to a school spokesman.
Sportstalk radio host Phil Kornblut says Spurrier hasn't initiated the dustups. "But if you fire the first shot, you can expect a couple of shots to come back at you (from Spurrier)," said Kornblut, whose show broadcasts throughout South Carolina.
Spurrier hasn't spoken with Bowden about the Rumph situation.
"I don't talk to him. But I don't talk lot of coaches," Spurrier said.
It wasn't the first time this off-season that Spurrier let people know his thoughts on the Tigers.
While discussing the sale of commemorative game balls from South Carolina's 31-28 win over Clemson, Spurrier outlined things that have gone wrong in Tigertown since.
"It seems like Clemson's guys have had some negatives, haven't they?" Spurrier said in The Greenville News.
Spurrier pointed out Clemson's 28-20 loss to Kentucky in the Music City Bowl and how the school lost some expected recruits last week - Markish Jones to Florida State and two others because of academic concerns.
"Their bowl game wasn't a lot of fun," Spurrier said. "They're losing guys to FSU, losing them to academics. They're losing them all over the place, aren't they?"