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.

Why Iím picking Georgia to beat Alabama for the SEC football championship

Georgia running back D'Andre Swift (7) runs against Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses (32) during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)
The Florida Gators will have a fine season, but not fine enough to top the Bulldogs.

Did Alabama football stray too far from Nick Sabanís Process?

FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2019, file photo, Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa reacts after an NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson in Santa Clara, Calif. Alabama’s lengthy run of dominance already ranks among the most impressive dynasties in college football history. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
Read between the lines of what Alabama said at SEC media days, and youíll see some signs that The Process wasnít working last year.

Greg McElroy on Florida Gator Feleipe Franks: ĎSkyís the limití

Florida Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) fakes a handoff to Florida Gators running back Lamical Perine (22) in the first quarter at Doak Campbell Stadium at Florida State University in Tallahassee on Saturday, Nov., 2018.  (Times, 2018)
McElroy: Heís got gifts guys would do anything for. Itís just about learning you donít have to take advantage of those gifts all the time.

Nick Saban, are you difficult to work for? ĎI donít know,í he says

Alabama head coach Nick Saban speaks during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days, Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
The Alabama coach has replaced seven assistants this offseason, which led to that question during SEC media days.

Video: Itís 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.