Matt Baker - Colleges and Recruiting Reporter

Colleges and Recruiting 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.

  1. Florida quarterback Jalen Kitna appeared in four games for the Gators this season.
  2. Billy Napier and the Florida Gators have started a pivotal stretch for the program's future.
  3. We don't know how long USF fans will be cheering for the Bulls' next coach.
  4. USF is looking for a new football coach after the Bulls' season ended Saturday.
  5. Ohio State slipped in our AP top 25 ballot, while Michigan is up to No. 2.
  6. UCF Knights offensive lineman Samuel Jackson (73) and quarterback John Rhys Plumlee (10) are seen carrying the "War on I-" trophy after defeating USF Saturday at Raymond James Stadium.
  7. Florida State fans storm the field after Friday's 45-38 win over the Gators.
  8. USF and UCF will play the final "War on I-4" for a while on Saturday. Will the Bulls be celebrating the way they did in 2015?
  9. Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson will try to lead his team past Florida State on Friday.
  10. Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis and the Seminoles have come a long way since last year's sloppy loss at Florida.
  11. Florida Gators coach Billy Napier has come under scrutiny from fans after a 6-5 start to his tenure.
  12. Florida State has a shot at getting back to the Orange Bowl for the first time since the Jimbo Fisher era.
  13. Jackson State coach Deion Sanders is one of the hottest names on this year's coaching carousel. Is he interested in USF?
  14. Florida Gators coach Billy Napier is continuing to stress patience during the 6-5 start to his tenure.
  15. Patrick Payton and the Florida State Seminoles have jumped into our top 15.
  16. Florida State receiver Malik McClain and the Seminoles are rolling into the rivalry game with the Gators after crushing Louisiana.
  17. Does former Bucs running back Cadillac Williams deserve head coaching looks because of his early success as Auburn's interim coach?
  18. Florida Gators defensive lineman Desmond Watson had college football buzzing this week.
  19. Jackson State coach Deion Sanders and Florida A&M coach Willie Simmons both have head coaching experience and Florida ties.
  20. Bucs quarterback Tom Brady is a defendant in a class-action lawsuit involving the collapsing cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
  21. USF quarterback Katravis Marsh, seen here during a 2021 practice, is expected to make a full recovery from neck surgery.
  22. Scott Frost was a top assistant at Oregon before turning UCF around.
  23. The Florida Gators have won back-to-back SEC games impressively, setting up a matchup with Florida State next week that finally has some juice to it.

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