O'Leary this week lashed back at
"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,
In truth, it is unlikely the SEC or any of the other four power leagues (
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
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
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."