Florida Gators Thoughts of the Week: May 19 – May 25

We are almost to the dog days of summer and the sports calendar is winding down, with just baseball and softball left.

While I have been consumed with the local Tampa Bay Lightning, it has been exciting to watch Tim Walton continue to do work and make it to his third-straight Women’s College World Series and to watch Kevin O’Sullivan and the Florida Gators baseball team bounce back from an early loss to win the SEC Tournament.

It should be an exciting finish to the sports year.


Memorial Day Thought

Memorial Day to many is a day that we celebrate as a day of patriotism, but also, a day off of work, a day with family, and a day of (hopeful) thought and reflection.

As many of you know if you have been reading my articles over the last three years, know that my grandfather served in the Army during World War II and helped storm Normandy, and protect our great country. He has been resting peacefully since 1992, but I use this day to remember him a bit more than usual.

But, today, I went to the mall and plastered all over the mall was “Memorial Day Sale” and “Biggest Sale of the Year” signs and it got under my skin. Because Memorial Day is not about sales; it’s not about shopping; and it damn sure isn’t about using the slain lives of 1.3 million Americans during American wars to sell a blouse, purse, or pair of shoes.

We are free today, and everyday, because of the protection of those that offered themselves as sacrifice, so that people could participate in the “Biggest Sale of the Year”.

Remember those that paid the ultimate sacrifice every day and remember that Memorial Day should not be spent at Best Buy, but by thanking a friend, family member, neighbor, or stranger, for their protection.


Incredible Fact about the Gators Athletic Program

 While a number of you were chanting that Jeremy Foley should be fired after the Will Muschamp experiment failed, Foley’s program has accomplished the following this athletic season (with baseball and softball still on going):

  • Women’s Gymnastics (National Champions)
  • Women’s Lacrosse (Big East Champions)
  • Baseball (SEC Champions)
  • Men’s Indoor Track (SEC Champions)
  • Men’s Outdoor Track (SEC Champions)
  • Men’s Swimming and Diving (SEC Champions)
  • Softball (SEC Champions)
  • Women’s Volleyball (SEC Champions)
  • Women’s Tennis (SEC Champions)


A Brief Comment on Matt Jones

Just a few days ago, Matt Jones stated, “My college career wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I really want to have a successful career in the NFL, so that’s why I’m going even harder because I didn’t have the college career I wanted.” He then continued and blamed that the reason he didn’t have the college career he wanted was because of “then offense [he] was in”.

While Will Muschamp and Co.’s offense was hardly something worth defending, I am puzzled by Jones’s comments.

In his career, Jones had 297 carries for 1,431 yards (4.818 yards per carry) for 11 touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for 100 yards and one touchdown.

In 2014, he had 13.83 carries per game and in 2013 he had 15.8 yards per game, while splitting time with running back Kelvin Taylor.

I am curious what Matt Jones’s beef was with the offense was, outside of it being a safe way to blame someone for not having more touchdowns or yards? Other than it being somewhat posh to blame the prior coaching staff, I don’t believe Matt Jones has much of an argument.

Now, yes, Will Muschamp’s offense was putrid in every facet, but the offense was built for the likes of Matt Jones to prosper, while other skill players suffered due to poor quarterback play.

Jones, who played behind four drafted offensive lineman and one who signed as an undrafted free agent, did not rank in the top-100 in average yards per carry, in touchdowns per game, or in first down runs in the country in 2014. I am not sure that is solely Muschamp’s fault as Jones ranked 84th in the country in carries and Florida ranked 43rd in rushing offense per game.

I think it is easy to blame Muschamp, and a lot of blame falls on him, but to say that he wasn’t given the opportunity to be successful is wrong and to blame the offense for not being successful is not his fault.

I tend to believe that Jones was successful in college and I think that he will find a place in the NFL for at least the next three – five years, but I felt like his comments were misplaced blame for struggling to put up the stats he thought he could.


Mike White Wins Early

While there are still many of you that are skeptical about Mike White, he did what, I believe less than 20 coaches could have done in the same circumstance – convinced KeVaughn Allen to honor his signed National Letter of Intent. Allen, the prized recruit of the 2015 signing class, is a top shooting guard who averaged 25.2 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per game. Allen, who hails from Little Rock, Arkansas, was rumored to want out of his NLI and many expected him to sign with Arkansas instead – but, nah.

Most expected Allen to leave and the odds were stacked against the former Louisiana Tech coach, but perhaps White knows what he is doing…


 Must Read Articles of the Week

Song of the Week

Everyone knows the band Old Crow Medicine Show because their song “Wagon Wheel” is one of the most popular country blue grass song, that has now been covered by Darius Rucker.

They have some other great bluegrass music out there and there here is an example below.

(Now I know many of you won’t like it, but it’s just great musical talent, if anything.)

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Daniel Thompson
Dan Thompson is a 2010 graduate of the University Florida, graduating with a degree in Economics and a degree in Political Science. During this time at UF, Dan worked three years for the Florida Gator Football team as a recruiting ambassador. Dan dealt daily with prospects, NCAA guidelines, and coaching staff. Dan was also involved in Florida Blue Key, Student Government and Greek Life. Currently, Dan oversees the IT consulting practice of a Tampa-based company. Dan enjoys golfing, country music, bourbon, travel, oysters, and a medium-rare steak. Dan can be found on Twitter at @DK_Thompson.


  1. The ‘Muschamp experiment’. First and most obviously it was hardly an ‘experiment’. Rather, to those paying even slight attention it was an abject failure, an embarrassment . AD Jeremy Foley failed at probably the most important responsibility of his job. In private corporate business if Jeremy Foley was a CEO and failed as he did he would either be fired or given the opportunity to ‘retire’. A successful football program is the financial energy of all sports activity at UF. Without ‘football money’ there would be none of Mr. Foley’s beloved non-revenue sports. The reaction of Matt Jones to his Gator years is understandable. He not only feels cheated, he was cheated. He came to Gainesville thinking of SOS and Urban Meyer and found only Foley-Muschamp. In part that explains why it is now so difficult for the current staff to recruit above 2- and 3-Star level talent. The next few years are crucial to the near-term future of UF sports and calling the Foley- Muschamp debacle an ‘experiment’ is not going to change that.

    • Correct, Bob Dylan wrote the chorus and melody, but OCMS rewrote parts of it and ultimately, because of them, the song became certified platinum.