Central Florida football Coach George O'Leary may be channeling former Union Army Gen. George Custer.

O'Leary this week lashed back at Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive for Slive suggesting that the five power conferences might break away and form a separate division for college football.

"They sound like the South during the Civil War," O'Leary told the Orlando Sentinel. "If they don't get their way, they're going to secede and start their own country. ... I think college football is in real trouble."

As Orlando columnist Mike Bianchi noted, you can't spell secede without SEC.

It could also be noted that the SEC includes a university, South Carolina, that represents the first state to secede from the Union.

In truth, it is unlikely the SEC or any of the other four power leagues (Pac-12, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12) are going to formally split from the NCAA.

They "only" seek more autonomy to use their gush of broadcast revenue without having to ask permission from the full body of 351 Division 1 schools. 

O'Leary's remarks are understandable given that he coaches a team from the American Athletic Conference, one of the five leagues outside the sphere of power.

While O'Leary's quote makes for a great headline, it is unfair to the SEC in the sense that the Big Ten and Pac-12 have also made veiled threats to secede. And I don't remember any episode of Ken Burns' documentary on the Civil War involving "The Battle of Walnut Creek (Calif.)." 

O'Leary's comments do touch a nerve because many people, including some historians, believe the South is still fighting the Civil War through the vehicle of SEC football.

And there is no denying the classic 1965 story of Georgia football after scoring a big road victory at Michigan.

The Bulldogs were treated as conquering heroes when they returned to Athens.

"To go up there and invade the north and come back a winner was the greatest thing for a lot of people," Georgia Coach Vince Dooley famously remarked. "It was as if we had a chance to go to Gettysburg again."