Sunday, October 21, 2018


Matt Baker, Times staff writer

Matt Baker, Times staff writer

Matt Baker joined the Times as a sports reporter in 2011. In 2014, he started covering the Bucs, Rays and Lightning. He previously covered high school and college sports for the Tulsa World and minor league baseball for the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader. His work has been honored by the Best American Sports Writing series and the Associated Press Sports Editors. He is a Hoosier native and graduated from Northwestern University in 2008.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer in the first half against Purdue on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind. (Brooke LaValley/Columbus Dispatch/TNS)

Matt Bakerís AP Top 25 ballot: Florida Gators over Ohio State

Coming up with my weekly AP Top 25 ballot, I'm always faced with new questions I never considered.Like this one, from 247Sports' excellent Gators writer, Thomas Goldkamp:Does...
Updated: 1 hour ago
MONICA HERNDON   |   TimesFlorida Gators linebacker Brendan Ackerman (53) does the chomp during warm up before the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at EverBank Field, in Jacksonville, Fla. on October 28, 2017. At the half Georgia Bulldogs was up 21 to 0.

ESPNís College GameDay headed to Florida-Georgia

The biggest Florida-Georgia game in years will have the pregame hype to match the high stakes.ESPN's College GameDay will be in Jacksonville for the annual rivalry game, the network announced Saturday evening. The SEC Network's...
Published: 10/20/18
Florida State's Cam Akers is lifted by his teammates in celebration after scoring a touchdown against Wake Forest in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018 in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) FLSC102

Florida State climbing under Willie Taggart, but ĎNoles still have a long way to go

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State's 38-17 comeback win over Wake Forest on Saturday was a nice way to start the second half of coach Willie Taggart's inaugural season.It was certainly better than how the first half went — with a...
Published: 10/20/18
Wake Forest's quarterback Jamie Newman runs from pressure applied by Florida State's Joshua Kaindoh in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018 in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida State won 38-17. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

FSU journal: Tackle for loss becomes moment to reflect

TALLAHASSEE — Less than two weeks after Hurricane Michael destroyed his Panama City home, Florida State LB Janarius Robinson was just happy to be back on the field and able to contribute.He did more than that...
Published: 10/20/18
Florida State's Jacques Patrick takes a hand off from quarterback Deondre Francois in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game with Wake Forest, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018 in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

Matt Bakerís takeaways from Florida State-Wake Forest

The best moment of the game was when LB Janarius Robinson corralled Wake Forest's Jamie Newman for a 6-yard loss, then took a knee after the play. It was his first big play since Hurricane Matthew destroyed his family's Panama...
Published: 10/20/18
Purdue star Rondale Moore could light up an Ohio State defense prone to allowing big plays. [ AP FILE PHOTO ]

Ryan Finley and the NFL draft, Ohio State on upset watch and more college football nuggets

Eye on the NFL draftWith a 6-foot-4, 212-pound frame plus a top-10 completion percentage, North Carolina State QB Ryan Finley is an interesting pro prospect. Clemson's defense is loaded with even bigger talents, including DE Clelin...
Published: 10/19/18
Here's a bright spot for Florida State: Its run D is good. [ OCTAVIO JONES | Times  ]

UConn is just awful, a positive at FSU and more state college football nuggets

FSU bright spotAs rough as Florida State's 3-3 start has been, its run defense has been one of the best in the nation. The Seminoles are seventh nationally in yards per rush allowed (2.76) and held Northern Illinois to only six yards...
Published: 10/19/18
Memphis RB Darrell Henderson belongs in the Heisman Trophy discussion. [ AP FILE PHOTO ]

Heisman watch: Two AAC players crack the top five

5. Memphis RB Darrell Henderson: The nation's leading rusher (1,133 yards) ran for 199 on UCF in a one-point loss.4. Houston DL Ed Oliver: His 1.9 tackles for a loss per game lead all interior linemen...
Published: 10/19/18
FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2015, file photo, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio shakes hands with Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh on the Michigan Stadium field before an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich. Sixth-ranked Michigan has won six straight and is in the top 10 for the first time this season. The Wolverines need to beat rival Michigan State this Saturday to keep the roll going.  (AP Photo/Tony Ding, FIle) NYDD205

College football Week 8 viewing guide

Lamest time window: Late. The marquee games are spread out well, but the primetime spot will have the fewest national implications.Noon: Can Jim Harbaugh start reversing his 1-5 record against rivals...
Published: 10/19/18
Warriors president Rick Welts, former WNBA COO Jay Parry and Facebook's Dan Reed speak during a USF lecture at the Yuengling Center. [ MATT BAKER | TIMES ]

In cord-cutting era, whatís the future of Facebook and live sports programming?

TAMPA — One of the biggest, most interesting questions about the future of sports is this: How will we watch games in five or 10 years?Through traditional platforms like CBS or ESPN? Through tech giants like Amazon or...
Published: 10/18/18