Matt Baker, Colleges Reporter

Matt Baker

Colleges Reporter

I love college football more than everything but my son, my wife and my dog, so I have the perfect job covering the sport for the Tampa Bay Times. Even though I grew up in a basketball state (Indiana) and graduated from a non-football power (Northwestern University), I’m fascinated by the game, the traditions and the pageantry. I joined the Times in July 2011 after stops at the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader and Tulsa (Okla.) World. Since then, I’ve covered almost everything — high schools, the Bucs, the Rays, the Lightning and auto racing — before becoming a full-time college sports reporter before the 2015. When I’m not working, I’m usually on a run, chasing a toddler around and waiting for kickoff.

Video: It’s not all doom and gloom for Florida State

Florida State coach Willie Taggart reacts to a second-quarter play at Hard Rock Stadium on Oct. 6, 2018, in Miami. (MONICA HERNDON | Times)
Matt Baker chats with the Identity Tampa Bay about the reeling Seminoles ahead of ACC media days.

Are the Florida Gators and Miami Hurricanes still rivals?

The Florida Gators and Miami Hurricanes haven't met since 2013, but they're still rivals, according to three UF players. (Times, 2013)
Here’s what Feleipe Franks, Lamical Perine and Jabari Zuniga said about the series.

Georgia’s Jake Fromm ready to do more for national title contenders

Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) looks to throw the ball in a game against the Gators in the second quarter at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville on Saturday, October 27, 2018.  (Times, 2018)
Fromm used to be unfairly called a game manager. He’s more like a game breaker for the SEC East favorites.

Jimbo Fisher isn’t bothered by criticism he left FSU football as a mess

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher reacts against Auburn during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)
“That’s part of this business,” Fisher says of the criticism. “You move on.”

How Florida Gators commitment helped Matt Corral become Ole Miss’ starter

Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral talks with reporters during the 2019 SEC media days. (MATT BAKER | Times)
UF lost the blue-chip quarterback prospect during the Jim McElwain-to-Dan Mullen coaching change.