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.

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.

Dan Mullen is not worried about Florida Gators’ attrition

Coach Dan Mullen, of Florida, speaks during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days, Monday, July 15, 2019, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
At least nine players have entered the transfer portal, and at least two other signees won’t make it to campus.

Video: Is Tampa a long-term home for USF’s Charlie Strong?

USF coach Charlie Strong is all smiles after April's spring game. (ALLIE GOULDING |  Times)
Matt Baker chats with the Identity Tampa Bay about the Bulls coach’s future ahead of AAC media days.