Blake Toppmeyer, Knoxville News Sentinel

Blake Toppmeyer

Knoxville News Sentinel

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Recent articles by Blake:

Why Josh Heupel and Tennessee football give me hope for Dan Mullen

If Dan Mullen could reboot his career at a school with a well-oiled NIL collective, the future may be bright for the former Florida Gators coach. → Read More

Why are coaches giving Lane Kiffin more preseason love than Josh Heupel's Tennessee Vols?

Oh, the disrespect. Tennessee did not earn a top-25 ranking in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA football coaches poll. But there's an explanation for that. → Read More

SEC football will revel in ESPN hype as Big Ten gambles with its TV riches

By exiting ESPN, how much will the Big Ten recede from conversation with its new TV rights deal? The SEC's deal with ESPN is worth more than dollars. → Read More

From Tennessee Vols to Texas A&M, 6 bold SEC football predictions that go against the grain

By this point in the college football preseason, group-think tends to occur. But we aim to do our own pontificating and swim upstream with these picks. → Read More

Kirby Smart can win like Nick Saban, but now can Georgia 'rebuild' like Alabama?

At Alabama, Nick Saban has repositioned what a rebuilding season can look like. That's Kirby Smart's next task for Georgia football. → Read More

A 10-game SEC football schedule? Make Greg Sankey's quip a reality

Greg Sankey joked recently that the SEC may bypass a nine-game league schedule for 10 conference games. Make Sankey's quip a real idea to explore. → Read More

Here are the top concerns facing Tennessee football ahead of Josh Heupel's second season

The Vols are a proven offensive force entering Josh Heupel's second season. Peel back the layers, though, and Tennessee has areas to address. → Read More

What Mike Leach can achieve that Dan Mullen didn't for Mississippi State football

The unplanned genius of Mike Leach’s second season at Mississippi State: He raised the bar of success without putting it so high it can't be exceeded. → Read More

These 3 College Football Playoff ideas are superior to a 16-team format

Six playoff teams? 12? 14? Those formats would be better than a 16-team postseason that would dilute the regular season and produce playoff romps. → Read More

What's Jeremy Pruitt next move as he faces sweeping allegations of NCAA violations?

Jeremy Pruitt never seemed like he'd drift quietly into the night. So far, though, the former Vols coach has not kicked up much trouble for Tennessee. → Read More

Why Josh Heupel can use NCAA's notice of allegations against Tennessee football to his benefit

Josh Heupel now can promote the narrative that the Vols should avoid crippling penalties and are ready to put Jeremy Pruitt behind them. → Read More

Tennessee football hopes NCAA is merciful. Remain wary of the punishment, though

Jeremy Pruitt's college coaching career is cooked. UT's fate hangs in the balance. The NCAA was kind to Vols in its allegations but is a fickle friend → Read More

Bryan Harsin can't talk his way off the Auburn football hot seat

Auburn football coach Bryan Harsin carried authority Thursday at SEC Media Days while he addressed "the gorilla in the room." → Read More

Greg Sankey and the SEC seem to relish digging knife into failed Alliance

The Alliance failed, and Greg Sankey knows how to rub it in. He can demand a playoff format that behooves the SEC, while inferior conferences suffer. → Read More

Nick Saban isn't losing his grip at Alabama. He's preparing for his finest hour

GOATs don’t have a taste for humble pie, and some of Nick Saban’s top success at Alabama came after being served a helping of humility. → Read More

Greg Sankey says SEC isn't too eager to expand more. Here's why I believe him

The SEC, Greg Sankey says, won't expand just to expand, is unperturbed by the Big Ten adding USC and UCLA and won't betray the conference’s identity. → Read More

Here's the one key question Brian Kelly can't answer yet about LSU football

As is often the case, LSU football is steeped in talent, but a key question looms: Do the Tigers have a quarterback? → Read More

Why a Notre Dame football alliance with the SEC makes so much sense

The way to force Notre Dame into a conference would be to tighten playoff access for the Irish. That's where the SEC can come in as a valuable ally. → Read More

SEC football coaches ranked: Kirby Smart nips at Nick Saban's heels; then who?

As Brian Kelly and Billy Napier enter the SEC, the league is stouter than ever and loaded with coaching talent. → Read More

What Tennessee football's recruiting hot streak means and what to expect before signing day

The key for Tennessee football to finish in the top five or even top 10 in recruiting rankings? Add more four-star prospects. → Read More