Thoughts of the Week: August 9 – August 15

What a week in and around Florida Gator Football!

Between Florida State’s failed #AskJameis campaign, to a late night practice scare with Vernon Hargreaves, to the launch of the SEC Network it was a big week – a week that signaled that college football is nigh.

My thoughts this week are all over the place, so bear with me.

Three-Year College Majors?

Purdue University has announced that they will begin offering a three-year bachelor’s program for communication studies, a move that will save students at least $9,000 in tuition costs.

While the new three year program still requires the same number of credit hours as every other major (120), merely graduating early could allow them to jump into the workforce quicker, while saving money – or if they want to spend a year doing an internship or studying abroad, they can do that and not be behind their peers at other colleges.

I think it is great that Purdue is offering this program, but I have a suggestion to all schools – consider three-year programs and do not necessarily require 120 credit hours.

I have long been in favor of having variable lengths of college depending on majors – for example, engineers should be required the 124 credit hours to graduate, but do philosophy majors or sociology majors need the same number, even though only 30 credit hours count toward the major?

Engineering courses require a litany of pre-requisites, from calculus to physics to chemistry, to make sure that each student is sufficiently erudite to learn tougher skill-sets within engineering such as statics and dynamics. Each class builds on top of each to make a well-rounded engineer. Conversely, many degree programs in the liberal arts do not build, necessarily, on top of each other. A political science student may take “State and Local Government”, while simultaneously, take “The Presidency” and be able to do just fine, because most material is issue specific. Further, with degree programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) being only 30 credit hours, are the other 90 credit hours necessary? Must a CLAS student take four science classes, four humanity courses, and three diversity classes, if they are majoring in Economics? What if each of those “electives” was cut by one? How much money could students save? A lot.

The idea that college must be four years is arcane. Cut the crap and focus on education, but also focus on making sure students are not racking up debt on unnecessary coursework.

Call me crazy, but a 90 credit hour degree program seems like a good idea.

Most Impressive Fall Camp

Based on reports that I have heard and conversations I have had, I am most impressed with the following eight players, in order of how quickly I thought of them:

  • Jeff Driskel
  • CJ Worton
  • Max Garcia
  • Keanu Neal
  • JC Jackson
  • Joey Ivie
  • Demarcus Robinson
  • Jake McGee

Keep Pouring Ice Water

There are a lot of “Debbie Downers” in the world — a lot.

Their newest parade to rain on is the newest internet viral philanthropy campaign, “Strike Out ALS”, which requires participants to donate $100 or have a bucket of ice water poured on their head.

Critics claim, “what does pouring water on your head do?”

Awareness. And that is all that matters.

According to the ALS Association, during the past week or so of the campaign, more than 150,000 have donated, more than $7.5 million has been raised, and millions of people have explored to learn more about “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”.

How does that compare to this time last year? Well, last year in the same time period the ALSA raised $32,000.


Sure, the act of dumping does nothing physically for ALS research, the act of raising awareness is oh so important and it will change lives.

So naysayers, stop, please. If it annoys you on Facebook, Twitter, Vine or Instagram scroll through it but if you think it hasn’t been successful you couldn’t be more wrong.

SEC Network Launch

On Thursday, the SEC Network launched and I don’t really care – does that make me a bad person? Sure, there may be some good programming every once in a while, but football game scheduling will be weak by design, ESPN has proven that their programming isn’t all that great, and what happens after football season – particularly summer?

I think it is great that the SEC will finally have their own channel, but is it all that great? Is Missouri vs. Kentucky worth watching over other games on CBS, NBC, ABC, ESPN and ESPN2? Probably not. The signature “SEC Storied” programming will likely migrate over to ESPN for re-runs. Finally, as much as you love the UF Gators and the SEC, you probably don’t really like the SEC as much as you say you do, you just like rooting for them against other conferences – particularly when Florida is struggling – how do I know? Because you aren’t going to watch South Carolina play Georgia in basketball or Mississippi State versus Arkansas in baseball.

The SEC Network is the third most expensive channel on our televisions, but I don’t really see the value that others seem to.

I guess we will see.

Must Read Articles of the Week

Song of the Week

This past week, I was exposed to a rising country artist from the Lake Placid/Sebring area of Florida — JJ McCoy.

He is a pretty traditional country music artist, very raw, and without a ton of production value — something you don’t see very often. He reminds me of Merle Haggard

I don’t think he will every make it very big, but he has got a few good songs and is definitely worth listening to.

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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. Should the SEC Network be the 6th most expensive, no probably not. But as someone who does not live close enough to go to games in person, I am excited to see the other Gator sports more often on TV.

  2. For a guy who says the Ice Bucket challenge is a good thing for the awareness it brings, how can the same not be said for the SEC network? Not only will it bring awareness to the sports we can’t always watch on television, it will give awareness to the athletes who put a lot of time in to those sports. It will also allow high school recruits more opportunities to see our school’s tradition and talent level. Not to mention, I do happen to like watching the lower teams in the league play so that I know where the Gators stand after winning or losing to those teams. The SEC network also will help our school get extra funding. I’m not sure how you can dismiss it so easily.