Blake Toppmeyer, USA TODAY

Blake Toppmeyer


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Past articles by Blake:

Inside Brian Kelly's plan to beat Nick Saban, his LSU 'dream,' and that accent

'Run the damn play.' LSU ran Snake, a play Brian Kelly decided on two days earlier. The Tigers toppled Nick Saban's Alabama. Kelly fits at LSU, yes? → Read More

Why Tennessee basketball is more likely to reach March Madness Sweet 16 than lose to Louisiana

Are you thinking about picking 13th-seeded Louisiana to upset No. 4 Tennessee basketball in the first round of the NCAA Tournament? Resist that urge. → Read More

March Madness sleepers? Upsets? Final Four locks? Here's the SEC teams poised to make noise

The SEC tied its conference record with eight qualifiers for the NCAA Tournament, but the conference didn't earn much seeding respect other than Alabama. → Read More

Could a 2-loss SEC football team miss 12-team playoff? Crazy, right? Not quite

Surely any two-loss SEC football team would make the 12-team College Football Playoff. Or, so I thought. An astute reader set me straight. → Read More

Tennessee basketball an easy upset? Whoa, hold up ... Trust Vols early, Alabama later

Why will Tennessee basketball survive Louisiana in the NCAA Tournament first round? Drake and Texas come to mind. → Read More

5 burning Tennessee football questions as Vols approach spring practice

The Joe Milton vs. Nico Iamaleava quarterback battle is the easy narrative entering Tennessee's spring practice, but there are other pressing questions. → Read More

If Ole Miss basketball hires Chris Beard, then win-loss record outweighs arrest record

Chris Beard is available for hire, within an industry where your arrest record matters less than your win-loss record. In slinks Ole Miss basketball. → Read More

Nick Saban barks up wrong tree about Alabama football schedule rivals. SEC can ignore him

While griping about Alabama football's earmarked rivals in a nine-game SEC schedule, Nick Saban refuses to see the forest for the trees. → Read More

Why Nick Saban is bemoaning Alabama's possible rivals, including Tennessee football, LSU

Nick Saban is crying foul over Alabama's rivals in a possible 9-game SEC schedule. Surely, he's up to something, but maybe not what it first seems. → Read More

Georgia football has a discipline problem that calls for action from Kirby Smart

Once is an incident, twice is a pattern and three times is a problem. Kirby Smart has a discipline problem within Georgia's football program. → Read More

Tennessee football, baseball or basketball? Which Vols team is best bet to win national title?

A little thing like a three-game suspension can't stop Tony Vitello or his Tennessee baseball team. This Vols train is Omaha caliber. → Read More

Here are our top candidates to be SEC football's dark horse, overrated teams in 2023

LSU is the SEC West's most well-rounded team. Don't expect the preseason media poll to reflect that. While Brian Kelly's Tigers lurk below the radar, what about Alabama? → Read More

Whether clueless or callous, Nate Oats' leadership of Alabama basketball is 'godawful'

Alabama basketball coach Nate Oats must be either clueless or callous, as evidenced by repeated gaffes in response to tragedy. → Read More

Lane Kiffin borrows Brian Kelly's quarterback move. I call it the blackjack model

In Jaxson Dart, Lane Kiffin had the equivalent of a "soft 18" blackjack hand. He hit, adding transfers in an aggressive move to raise Ole Miss' ceiling. → Read More

If Pac-12 crumbles, don't expect SEC to covet the scraps. Listen to Greg Sankey

The Pac-12's sunsetting media rights deal makes it vulnerable to raids, but SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey has not hinted at any interest in such far-flung expansion. → Read More

Which SEC football team can pull a Tennessee in 2023? Start with the Vols

Pulling a Tennessee last season meant smashing expectations and reaching the Orange Bowl. In 2023, who will pull a UT and exceed projections? → Read More

Ranking SEC quarterbacks: Jayden Daniels, KJ Jefferson, Spencer Rattler or Joe Milton top choice?

Jayden Daniels and KJ Jefferson are proven commodities. Spencer Rattler and Joe Milton are veterans with high ceilings. And what about Nico Iamaleava? → Read More

No Tennessee-Kentucky or Auburn-Florida? Readers reject my SEC football schedule rivals ideas

I proposed rivalry assignments for a potential nine-game SEC football schedule in 2024. Our readers had ideas of their own to preserve other matchups. → Read More

We assigned three rivals for each SEC football team. Here are our glaring omissions

The SEC hasn't approved a schedule model for its 16-team future, but it may finally embrace a nine-game league slate. We take a stab at assigning rivals, while acknowledging key omissions. → Read More

Why Texas football will be a better SEC rival for Tennessee Vols than Oklahoma

Who is the "real UT?" What's the better shade of orange? Where would Texas be without Tennessee's volunteers? Texas-Tennessee has the ingredients to be a rivalry. → Read More