It’s on: 43 spring games on tap to whet your football appetite

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Thanks to Bobby Petrino‘s motorcycle misstep and subsequent firing, there’s one thing that’s been lost of in recent days: Spring Practice 2012 is rapidly winding to a way-too-soon conclusion.

To that end, a whopping 43 teams — if our math is correct — will conduct their annual spring games Saturday.  From seven members of the Big Ten to six apiece in the SEC and ACC, each of the 11 conferences will have at least one team putting the finishing touches on the last — in most cases — of its 15 spring sessions.

And, of course, we’ here at CFT will have you covered throughout.  This post will serve as a “landing page” for all of our spring coverage, replete with all sorts of links, tidbits and other minutia from today’s games and will be updated throughout the afternoon and into the evening — or night as the case may be.

So, enjoy this little break from the off-field soap operas and bask in the last “real” football — aside from a handful of spring games the next couple of weekends — for the next five months or so.

— Relieved Trojans get through spring game unscathed. (April 15, 12:36 a.m. ET)

Big Ten spring games wrap-up. (April 15, 1:11 a.m. ET)

— Spring game officially launches post-Moore era at Boise State. (11:54 p.m. ET)

— Stanford headlines Pac-12 spring games wrap-up. (10:36 p.m. ET)

SEC spring games wrap-up. (10:18 p.m. ET)

ACC spring games wrap-up. (8:57 p.m. ET)

— Oklahoma goes beyond Belldozer package in spring game in this Big 12 wrap-up. (7:21 p.m. ET)

— Defense takes advantage of a (basically) Denard-less Michigan offense. (6:59 p.m. ET)

Newcomers shine, McCarron struggles in Tide’s A-Day spring finale. (6:18 p.m. ET)

Big East spring games wrap-up. (4:37 p.m. ET)

— Mother Nature wreaking havoc on Midwest spring games, the Big Ten in particular. (2:42 p.m. ET)

— Due to inclement weather — and by “inclement weather” we mean “OMG, we’re all gonna die!!!” — Indiana’s spring game was moved indoors. (1:12 p.m. ET)

— Purdue has cancelled its spring game scheduled for today due to rainy weather.  Instead, the Boilermakers will conduct a scrimmage indoors, which will be closed to the public. (12:41 p.m. ET)

— Leading WR one of a dozen ‘Noles to miss spring game

Two BYU football players involved in alcohol-related incident were actually ex-BYU football players

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The curious case of Francis Bernard has taken yet another twist.

In mid-August, it was announced that Francis Bernard, a 12-game starter at linebacker for BYU in 2016, would miss the entire 2017 season because of unspecified “personal reasons.” Very early Saturday morning, Bernard (pictured, No. 13) was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving without a valid license and failing to register his vehicle/having an expired registration.

With him during the traffic stop was teammate Marvin Hifo, who was cited for having an open container.

Monday, Kalani Sitake was asked about the situation.  In addressing it, the head coach revealed that both players had previously left the team in the last couple of weeks —  Bernard withdrew from school and requested a release from his scholarship, while Hifo, a senior defensive back, decided to simply quit.

Notably, Sitake seemingly indicated that, as of at least a couple of weeks ago, he was leaving the door open for a potential Bernard return at some point in the future.

“[Bernard] was looking at all of his options, and one of them was possibly returning here with a release in hand,” the coach said according to the Deseret News. “I wish him the best in finding what is the best place for him and I care about him.”

Bernard was third on the Cougars last season in tackles.  Should he continue playing football at the collegiate level, he would presumably be a fourth-year junior in 2018.

Florida’s statement on Jim McElwain’s death-threat claim is interesting, to say the least

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Maybe it’s nothing, maybe it’s something.  Regardless, it’s something that bears watching.

Losers of two in a row and off to a 3-3 start to the season,  Florida has underperformed and underwhelmed to say the least.  So much so, in fact, that head coach Jim McElwain indicated Monday that he, his family, his coaching staff and players have been subjected to death threats by unknown individuals.

The head coach went into no detail publicly regarding the nature of the threats.  Apparently, it was the same privately when discussing the situation with his employer.

OK then.

Again, it could be in the same neighborhood as naked shark humping — nothing. Bears watching, though, as one very outspoken member of the Florida media is very much already doing publicly about a situation that was apparently reported to the media before it was reported to the police or even the university.

LOOK: Arizona State to wear Pat Tillman-themed uniforms

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Pat Tillman is essentially the Knute Rockne of Arizona State football, the central figure that will be as important to the program 100 years from now as he is today. And while Notre Dame will wear Rockne-themed uniforms later this season, so, too, will Arizona State.

The program revealed Tillman-centric uniforms on Monday for their Nov. 4 game with Colorado, based on the uniform Tillman wore as a member of the U.S. Army while fighting in Afghanistan.

Tillman played linebacker at Arizona State from 1994-97 (he was named the Pac-10’s Defensive Player of the Year as a senior) and then spent four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals before the events of 9/11 inspired him to join the U.S. Army. He was a member of the Army Rangers before he was killed in action in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004, at age 27.

Arizona State unveiled a Tillman statue at Sun Devil Stadium at its season-opening win over New Mexico State.

“Pat spent his whole life trying to be the best person he could possibly be,” Kevin Tillman, Pat’s brother, said at the unveiling. “He didn’t focus on money, he didn’t focus on fame, he didn’t focus on a pretty statue. It was, ‘How can I make myself a better person in all these different facets of my life?’ And ASU gave him an opportunity to do that.”

Jim McElwain says family, players have received death threats over 3-3 start

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Florida has lost two in a row and is off to a 3-3 start, and that streak will probably reach three on Saturday after the Gators meet No. 3 Georgia. While everyone knows SEC fans are passionate about their football, some have taken Florida’s struggles too far.

How far? By threatening to kill the players and coaches.

“I think it’s a pretty good lesson for the way things are,” head coach Jim McElwain said, via Only Gators. “There’s a lot of hate in this world and a lot of anger. And yet, it’s freedom to show it. The hard part is, obviously, when it’s threats against your own players, death threats to your families, the ill will that’s brought upon out there. And yet, I think it’s really one of those deals that really is a pretty good testament to what’s going on out there nationally. There’s a lot of angry people, and in this business, we’re the ones you take the shots at. And that’s the way it is.”

In my experience, it seems people lodging death threats are far more serious about the threat part than the, uh, other. But that’s easy for me to say, I’ve never received one.