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.

Florida Gators wait was worth it for Kyle Trask

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask (11) flips the ball in the air after running in for a touchdown during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. Florida won 29-21. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) Timothy D. Easley  |  AP
“In today’s college football world, people jump the gun,” coach Dan Mullen said. Trask never did.

My AP Top 25 ballot: UCF up, what to do with Florida Gators without Feleipe Franks?

Florida running back Lamical Perine (2) attempts to break through an opening in the Kentucky defensive line during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) Timothy D. Easley  |  AP
The gap between UCF and UF is shrinking, at least on Matt Baker’s AP ballot.

Florida Gators get boost with Brad Stewart’s return

Kentucky tight end Keaton Upshaw (88) makes a catch over the defense of Florida defensive back Brad Stewart for a touchdown during the second half. Timothy D. Easley  |  AP
Kentucky’s fancy facilities are obvious, even from the outside on game day

Matt Baker’s takeaways from Florida-Kentucky

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask (11) flips the ball in the air after running in for a touchdown during the second half. Timothy D. Easley  |  AP
Psst, Kentucky: You might want to try defending the Gators’ receivers.

Florida Gators’ Feleipe Franks likely out rest of the season

Florida coach Dan Mullen consoles quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) as he lies injured on the field during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. Florida won 29-21. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) Timothy D. Easley  |  AP
His teammates surrounded him before he was carted off the field.