Advertisement
Matt Baker - Colleges Reporter

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.

  1. Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, left, takes a hit from Florida linebacker Jonathan Greenard after throwing a pass during the first half.
    Where would this Gators defense be without Louisville transfer Jonathan Greenard?
  2. Florida quarterback Kyle Trask, right, throws a pass over Tennessee defensive lineman Matthew Butler (94) during the first half.
    It didn’t look like Kyle Trask’s first start since he was a freshman in high school.
  3. A Florida Gators fan holds a sign supporting Feleipe Franks before Saturday's game against Tennessee.
    Watch: Kyle Trask enters Ben Hill Griffin Stadium as the Florida Gators’ presumptive starting quarterback.
  4. In this Jan. 2, 2017, file photo, Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain looks at the action on the field in the first half against Iowa in the Outback Bowl.
    Coaches hired early in the 2017-18 carousel are 40-38. Coaches hired late: 39-52.
  5. Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson (21) fires off the line during the season opener against Boise State on Aug. 31  in Tallahassee.
    Cam Akers isn’t the only draft-eligible Seminole starring, and Miami quietly has one of the top freshman passers in the nation.
  6. Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask runs the ball in for a touchdown during the third quarter against Charleston Southern last season.
    If Kyle Trask gets the first snap, it will be his first start since he was a freshman in high school.
  7. Notre Dame running back Tony Jones Jr. (6) runs through a hole in the line during the first half against Louisville on Sept. 2.
    More national college football: Jimbo Fisher, meanwhile, should be hyper focused on his quarterback, who hasn’t looked all that spiffy this season. Plus staff predictions.
  8. Notre Dame defensive lineman Jonathan Bonner (55) celebrates a sack of Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) during the second half of 2017 game. Georgia defeated Notre Dame 20-19.
    Unlike last week, Saturday’s slate is loaded. Sit back and enjoy. Plus: Times staff predictions.
  9. Florida State Seminoles quarterback Alex Hornibrook (12) throws during practice at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida on Tuesday, August 13, 2019. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
    The Tallahassee Democrat and 247Sports expect the Wisconsin grad transfer to see some time against the Cardinals.
  10. Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt yells to his players in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Brigham Young Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
    The Florida Gators’ next opponent is still stuck on Rocky Bottom thanks to bungled coaching searches.