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Lost in the Sauce: Feb. 16 - 22

Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater. (the previous edition can be found here if you are super behind).
  1. How to read: the headings will guide you through this piece. The Main Course covers the “big” stories and The Sides covers the “smaller” stories. IF YOU FOLLOW THE NEWS CLOSELY: you likely know about the stories in the Main Course section, so you will be best served by scrolling down to The Sides portion.
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Let’s dig in!


Trump’s war on the intelligence community: 10 days under an authoritarian administration

I wrote a stand-alone piece covering the biggest news from last week: Over the past 10 days, we've seen Trump fully indulge his authoritarian impulses in an attempt to stamp out any inkling of facts that he dislikes - whether that be for personal, egocentric reasons or to shore up political strength. This began with a briefing given to the House Intelligence Committee that Russia is seeking to re-elect Trump. In response, Trump purged the Office of the Director of National Intelligence of officials he perceived to be disloyal, installing loyalists in their place.
Also covered: how Trump gets away with a cabinet full of acting officials, Richard Grenell’s numerous dis-qualifications, a pardon offered to Julian Assange, and the hunt for “Never Trumpers” in the administration.

Sunday night update

On Sunday, Trump made a veiled threat toward House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff while claiming without evidence that the Democrat had leaked information from the Russia briefing on Feb. 13: “Somebody please tell incompetent (thanks for my high poll numbers) & corrupt politician Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff to stop leaking Classified information or, even worse, made up information, to the Fake News Media. Someday he will be caught, & that will be a very unpleasant experience!” tweet
Later, while speaking to reporters, Trump called for an investigation into the leak - more concerned about the public learning of the briefing than he is about Russia’s repeated interference in U.S. elections. “They leaked it, Adam Schiff and his group. They leaked it to the papers and - as usual - they ought to investigate Adam Schiff for leaking that information,” Trump said.
Schiff responded: “Nice deflection, Mr. President. But your false claims fool no one. You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine’s help in 2019, and won’t protect our elections in 2020.”


Authoritarians also dispense largesse, but they do it by their own whims, rather than pursuant to any system or legal rule. The point of authoritarianism is to concentrate power in the ruler, so the world knows that all actions, good and bad, harsh and generous, come from a single source. (The New Yorker)
Last week, Trump granted pardons and commutations to 11 people with one thing in common: connections. Trump bypassed the process of formal procedures typically used to determine who is given a pardon, instead relying on connections to his wealthy friends and political allies.

Roger Stone going to prison

Perhaps not coincidentally, Trump’s pardoning of corrupt public officials like Blagojevich occurred just two days before Roger Stone’s sentencing for lying to investigators, obstructing a congressional investigation, and witness tampering. Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Stone to 40 months - or 3.3 years - in prison, much lighter than the original 7-9 year sentencing recommendation made by career prosecutors who withdrew from the case in protest of AG Barr’s intervention.
Lawfare has a great line-by-line breakdown of the sentencing hearing, if you’d like the nitty-gritty details. But if you only have time to read one excerpt from the hearing, I suggest the following:
Judge Jackson: “The truth still exists. The truth still matters. Roger Stone's insistence that it doesn't, his belligerence, his pride in his own lies are a threat to our most fundamental institutions, to the very foundation of our democracy...The dismay and the disgust at the attempts by others to defend his actions as just business as usual in our polarized climate should transcend party. The dismay and the disgust with any attempts to interfere with the efforts of prosecutors and members of the judiciary to fulfill their duty should transcend party.
"Sure, the defense is free to say: So what? Who cares? But, I'll say this: Congress cared. The United States Department of Justice and the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia that prosecuted the case and is still prosecuting the case cared. The jurors who served with integrity under difficult circumstances cared. The American people cared. And I care."
Judge Jackson pushes back
During the hearing, Judge Jackson said that the jurors in the case "served with integrity." Stone’s lawyers took this statement and moved to disqualify the judge from the case, claiming that her remarks “rendered her unable to fairly rule on his bid for a new trial.”
"Stone’s Motion for New Trial is directly related to the integrity of a juror. It is alleged that a juror misled the Court regarding her ability to be unbiased and fair and the juror attempted to cover up evidence that would directly contradict her false claims of impartiality," his lawyers argued.
"The premature statement blessing the “integrity of the jury” undermines the appearance of impartiality and presents a strong bias for recusal," they added.
As expected, Jackson denied the motion to have her disqualified...
A pardon for Stone?
But the goal may be to reach the ears of the president instead. According to Politico, a former senior administration official who remains in contact with Trump and his senior advisers says about a pardon for Roger Stone: “It’s not a question of if; it’s when.” Following the sentencing, Trump argued that Stone’s jury was “tainted” and said that “Roger has a very good chance of exoneration.”
On Sunday, Trump was asked about the possibility of a pardon for Stone and instead took the opportunity to attack the jury forewoman, again:
"That juror is so biased and so tainted, that shouldn't happen in our criminal justice system… You have a juror that is obviously tainted. She was an activist against Trump. She said bad things about Trump and bad things about Stone," the President claimed without evidence. "She somehow weaseled her way onto the jury and if that's not a tainted jury then there is no such thing as a tainted jury."

More info on Stone’s lenient sentence

In the week since four prosecutors withdrew from Stone’s case in protest of AG Barr’s interference, we have gotten a slow drip-drip of new information. A piece by The New York Times Sunday summed it up nicely: Timothy Shea, appointed to replace Jessie Liu as head D.C. attorney, was sent to the office specifically to steer cases to the president’s benefit after previous efforts failed.
A new boss, Timothy Shea, had just arrived and had told them on his first day that he wanted a more lenient recommendation for Mr. Stone, and he pushed back hard when they objected, according to two people briefed on the dispute. They grew suspicious that Mr. Shea was helping his longtime friend and boss, Attorney General William P. Barr, soften the sentencing request to please the president.
...The tensions between the office, the Justice Department and the White House date back further than the tumult in the Stone case. They have been simmering since at least last summer, when the office’s investigation of Andrew G. McCabe, a former top F.B.I. official whom the president had long targeted, began to fall apart.
Mr. Shea’s predecessor, Jessie K. Liu, a lawyer whom Mr. Trump had appointed to lead the office in 2017, pressed the McCabe case even after one team of prosecutors concluded that they could not win a conviction. After a second team was brought in and also failed to deliver a grand jury indictment, Ms. Liu’s relationship with Mr. Barr grew strained, people close to them said. She left the position this year, though she and Mr. Barr have both stressed to associates that her departure was amicable.

Undoing Mueller’s work

Trump’s efforts to derail the sentencing of Stone can be seen as part of a larger campaign to rewrite history, and specifically, erase the findings of the Mueller investigation. Roger Stone’s indictment shows that Stone was acting on Trump's personal order to find Hillary Clinton’s campaign emails stolen by Russia. In order to cover-up his role in the Russia-Wikileaks-Trump network, Stone lied to investigators and threatened a witness. By claiming that Stone did not commit a crime, Trump is attempting to reverse the findings of the Mueller report and make himself the victim.
Last week, Trump embarked on a rambling Twitter thread calling for all cases stemming from Mueller’s probe to be “thrown out.” He continued, saying: “If I wasn’t President, I’d be suing everyone all over the place.......BUT MAYBE I STILL WILL. WITCH HUNT!”
Hours later, while discussing the spate of pardons he had issued that day, Trump made the astounding assertion that he is “the chief law enforcement officer of the country” and thus has the “legal right” to interfere in criminal cases. “I’m allowed to be totally involved,” the president added. While technically he is incorrect - the Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer - in practice Trump has been proven right. A lawless chief executive is in fact in charge of enforcing the law when the Attorney General acts as his personal fixer.
This is in the style of autocrats across the globe, who weaponize the law to help themselves and their friends and hurt their enemies. The nation’s legal system is now run by a man who has spent his life mocking it. (NYT Editorial Board)
Meanwhile, the president’s allies have reportedly been urging him to fire anyone who was involved in Mueller’s investigation:
The MAGA punditry’s outsized influence over the president means their campaign against the so-called Mueller “holdovers” is likely not falling on deaf ears, especially given Trump’s fixation with what his defenders and detractors are saying about his administration in their frequent appearances on his favorite TV programs.
“It's totally unclear to me why any members of the Mueller team need to remain in the Trump DOJ,” the pro-Trump conservative blogger Will Chamberlain wrote after news broke of the Stone sentencing recommendation.
...GOP operative Arthur Schwartz, a close friend of Donald Trump Jr. who has been described as the eldest son’s “fixer,” said of the career officials in question: “I think they should all be investigated.”
...John Dowd, a former Trump lawyer who remains in touch with the White House, characterized the line attorneys in the Stone case as “insubordinate,” and “the same crowd of prosecutors wedded to the Mueller agenda” who need to be “cleaned out” from DOJ. “And Bill Barr is doing that,” Dowd said.
What can be done about the politicization of the DOJ? In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Cass Sunstein of Harvard Law School suggests that “Congress should transform the Justice Department into an independent agency, legally immunized from the president’s day-to-day control.”

Public charge rule takes effect

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow the government to implement new “wealth test” rules making it easier to deny immigrants residency or admission to the United States if they might depend on public-assistance programs. Legal challenges will continue in lower courts in the meantime. Doug Rand, co-founder of Boundless Immigration who formerly worked on immigration policy in the Obama White House, estimates that as many as 400,000 people every year could be denied green cards or visas because of the new rules.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor filed a written dissent that was sharply critical of both the federal government and her conservative colleagues, warning that they are “putting a thumb on the scale in favor of” the Trump administration. Read her full seven-page dissent here.
The justice wrote that granting emergency applications often upends "the normal appellate process" while "putting a thumb on the scale in favor of the party that won." Targeting her conservative colleagues, she said "most troublingly, the Court's recent behavior" has benefited "one litigant over all others."
"Claiming one emergency after another, the Government has recently sought stays in an unprecedented number of cases," Sotomayor said. "It is hard to say what is more troubling," she said, pointing to the case at hand, "that the Government would seek this extraordinary relief seemingly as a matter of course, or that the Court would grant it." CNN


Justice Department’s new rules benefit Giuliani

In a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, the DOJ indicated that the agency has implemented another layer of approval that would make it difficult for prosecutors to widen their probe into Rudy Giuliani:
The Justice Department revealed Tuesday that law enforcement officials running Ukraine-related investigations must seek approval before expanding their inquiries — a move that could have implications for Rudolph W. Giuliani, as President Trump’s personal attorney pushes for scrutiny of the president’s political foes while facing a federal probe into his own conduct.
Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd wrote to Nadler that the department had tapped two U.S. attorneys to assist in the process — Scott Brady in Pittsburgh to receive and assess new information, and Richard Donoghue in Brooklyn to help coordinate personnel throughout the Justice Department involved in Giuliani’s case and others with a focus on Ukraine. An accompanying internal memo, circulated by Rosen in January, says that he and Donoghue must approve expansions of any inquiries.

Related: The Hill admits John Solomon’s columns were misleading

The Hill’s review of Solomon’s work can be found here. I have found the review itself to be overly generous to the publication (no surprise), so I will quote from a WaPo summary of the review:
In effect, the Hill said Solomon amplified an inaccurate and one-sided narrative about the Bidens and Ukraine that was fed to him by Giuliani, “facilitated” by businessman Lev Parnas, who was working with Giuliani at the time, and reinforced by Solomon’s own attorneys, who also represented clients embroiled in U.S.-Ukraine politics.
But the Hill stopped short of retracting or apologizing for Solomon’s articles, nor did it say it shouldn’t have published them. It also didn’t characterize Solomon’s motives in presenting what appears to be a largely debunked conspiracy theory about Ukraine.
“In certain columns, Solomon failed to identify important details about key Ukrainian sources, including the fact that they had been indicted or were under investigation,” said the internal investigation, which was overseen by the newspaper’s editor, Bob Cusack. “In other cases, the sources were [Solomon’s] own attorneys” — Victoria Toensing and Joseph DiGenova, who have also represented President Trump and Giuliani, who was also a key source for Solomon’s columns.
Solomon didn’t disclose this connection in his columns nor did he disclose to his editors that he shared drafts of his stories with Toensing, DiGenova and Parnas, the review noted.

Trump tries to block Bolton book

The Washington Post reports that Trump is attempting to block the release of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s book, instructing aides that it should not be released until after the November election.
Trump has told his lawyers that Bolton should not be allowed to publish any of his interactions with him about national security because they are privileged and classified, these people said. He has also repeatedly brought up the book with his team, asking whether Bolton is going to be able to publish it, they said.
Trump told national television anchors on Feb. 4 during an off-the-record lunch that material in the book was “highly classified,” according to notes from one participant in the luncheon. He then called him a “traitor.”
“We’re going to try and block the publication of the book,” Trump said, according to the notes. “After I leave office, he can do this. But not in the White House...I give the guy a break. I give him a job. And then he turns on me,” Trump added during the West Wing lunch. “He’s just making things up.”

Susan Rice tells Bolton the truth

During a panel discussion at Vanderbilt University on Wednesday, Bolton shared the stage with Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice. Bolton made excuses for his failure to testify in Trump’s impeachment trial, blaming the House for committing “impeachment malpractice.” Rice challenged Bolton repeatedly, denigrating his decision to promote his book instead of testify:
"I thought a lot about if I had been in that position how would I have approached it, and I'll be honest: It's inconceivable to me that if I had firsthand knowledge of gross abuse of presidential power that I would withhold my testimony from a constitutional accountability process.”
"I can't imagine withholding my testimony, with or without a subpoena," Rice said. "I also can't imagine, frankly, in the absence of being able to provide the information directly to Congress, not having exercised my First Amendment right to speak publicly at a time when my testimony or my experience would be relevant. And, frankly, when my subordinates ... were doing their duty and responding in a fashion consistent with their legal obligations to provide information."
"I would feel like I was shamefully violating the oath that I took to support and defend the Constitution."

Trump corruption update

President Donald Trump’s choice to stay at his own Las Vegas hotel each night during the western states swing that wraps up Friday likely cost taxpayers a million extra dollars as well as diverted thousands of them into his own cash registers.
Breaking with precedent, Trump flew back to Vegas to stay every night at his Trump International Hotel, despite his day activities taking place in California, Arizona, and Colorado.
Had Trump held the same events but done so in a geographically logical order ― starting in Beverly Hills and finishing in Colorado Springs, but overnighting each day in the city where he would begin the following morning ― Trump would have spent four fewer hours aboard Air Force One, thereby saving taxpayers about $1.1 million.
...Indeed, the repeated overnight trips to Las Vegas may have forced the Secret Service and other support personnel to keep a motorcade there for a full four days, rather than move it to the site of an upcoming presidential trip
This week, Trump has a whole new country to focus on: India, home to the largest portfolio of Trump real estate projects outside North America, according to the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. According to The Washington Post, since the elder Trump’s last trip to India in 2014, two of his business partners have encountered massive legal and financial trouble.
During Trump’s time as president, the Trump Organization has vigorously promoted their properties in India, earning millions of dollars in royalties:
In 2018, the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr. — who runs the Trump Organization with his brother, Eric Trump — spent several days in India promoting the family’s developments, attending a champagne dinner with condo buyers who plunked down $39,000 deposits and bringing in millions of dollars in new sales. While there, he also met with Modi behind closed doors. The next year, Trump’s Indian business partners flew 100 early buyers of his luxury condos near Delhi to visit Trump Tower and Trump Ferry Point golf course in New York City as a way to generate interest in the properties in India. One attendee gushed afterward about meeting the son of a U.S. president on the trip.

Trump 2020: Cambridge Analytica and Facebook

President Donald Trump’s campaign is bringing on an alum of the controversial data firm Cambridge Analytica...Matt Oczkowski, who served as head of product at Cambridge before it went bankrupt and shut down in 2018, is helping oversee the Trump campaign’s data program...Oczkowski, who also worked on Trump’s 2016 effort, joined the reelection campaign in January, and payments to his company, HuMn Behavior, are expected to show up on Trump’s next campaign finance disclosure later this month. (Politico)
An Axios report revealed where most of Trump’s re-election campaign is spending its advertising budget: on Facebook ads. “Last fall, the campaign urged Facebook to keep the same tools for political advertisers that they make available to companies...Facebook ultimately decided not to change its policies around microtargeting.” However, unlike in 2016, the campaign is also diversifying, “testing new strategies on several dozen platforms, including YouTube, Google, ad exchanges, publisher networks and conservative podcasts.”
  • Side note: The IRS is suing Facebook for $9 million in back taxes, alleging the social media company undervalued intellectual properties when selling them to an Irish subsidiary in 2010. Ireland has lower corporate tax rates than the United States, so the move reduced the company’s tax bill.

Erik Prince investigations

There is apparently another investigation into Blackwater Founder - and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos - Erik Prince. The FBI is reportedly investigating Prince “for his 2015 attempt to modify two American-made crop-dusting planes into attack aircraft — a violation of arms trafficking regulations...The planes became part of private military services Prince proposed to sell or use in mercenary operations in Africa and Azerbaijan.”
This new investigation adds to Prince’s legal problems, though he insists that he is untouchable “under this guy,” referring to Trump. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Justice Department is “in the late stages of deciding whether to charge” Prince for allegedly lying to Congress in its Russia probe and violating U.S. export laws in his business dealings overseas.

Trump blocking prominent climate change warning

The United States is against mentioning climate change in the communique of the world’s financial leaders, G20 diplomats said, after a new draft of the joint statement showed the G20 are considering including it as a risk factor to growth...G20 sources said the United States was reluctant to accept language on climate change as a risk to the economy. Reuters
On Sunday, it was announced that the U.S. ultimately agreed to a less-prominent placement for the risks of climate change. It will now appear in language referencing the Financial Stability Board’s work examining the implications of climate change for financial stability.
One of the G20 sources said it was the first time a reference to climate change had been included in a G20 finance communique during Trump’s presidency, even though it was removed from the top of the joint statement. U.S. officials have resisted naming climate change as an economic risk since Trump took office in 2017. One of his first acts as president was to announce Washington’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.

Rightwing threats

Last week, two men were arrested in separate incidents involving threats to President Trump’s perceived opponents.
A Michigan man, Brittan J. Atkinson, was arrested on Thursday for sending death threats to Mark Zaid, an attorney for the Ukraine whistleblower. Atkinson sent the threats in November, on the day that Trump held up a photo of Zaid and read some of his tweets at a rally in Louisiana.
"All traitors must die miserable deaths," Atkinson's email read in part, the indictment says. "Those that represent traitors shall meet the same fate[.] We will hunt you down and bleed you out like the pigs you are. We have nothing but time, and you are running out of it, Keep looking over your shoulder[.] We know who you are, where you live, and who you associate with[.] We are all strangers in a crowd to you[.]"
On Wednesday, Salvatore Lippa of New York was arrested for threatening to assault and murder Rep. Adam Schiff and Sen. Chuck Schumer in voicemails last month.
Lippa started the threatening message by calling the congressman "Schiff, Shifty Schiff," invoking the nickname used by President Donald Trump for Schiff, the lead House manager during Trump's impeachment trial.
...When questioned by U.S Capitol Police, Lippa admitted to making the threatening calls to Schiff and Schumer because he said he was upset about the impeachment proceedings, prosecutors said.

State news

  • Washington Post: A second court has temporarily blocked North Carolina’s new voter identification law on the argument that it discriminates against African Americans. The ruling reduces the likelihood that the rule will be in effect in a key swing state during November’s elections. A three-judge panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that intent to discriminate was a “primary motivating factor” behind the voter ID law, which passed the Republican legislature in late 2018.
  • CBS News: Florida cannot bar felons who served their time from registering to vote simply because they have failed to pay all fines and fees stemming from their cases, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
  • CNN: Mississippi's law banning abortions at the detection of a fetal heartbeat -- as early as six weeks into pregnancy -- will remain blocked, a panel of circuit judges ruled on Thursday...The three-judge panel on the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court's ruling that the Mississippi law unconstitutionally prohibited pre-viability abortions.
  • Tampa Bay Times: A curious request arrived in the inboxes of Florida tax collectors last week from an employee of the Republican National Committee. He asked for “all email addresses that have been collected and are in the possession of the Tax Collector’s Office.” He also wanted any names, property addresses and phone numbers connected to those emails in their records. If the tax collectors had complied, the Republican Party would soon have a valuable trove of personal information for millions of Floridians as it gears up for the 2020 election: A detailed database of many taxpayers’ emails plus the name, address and phone number tied to that email.
  • Associated Press: Most Republican lawmakers refused to attend a Tuesday night session of the Oregon House of Representatives amid a slowdown over anger at a sweeping bill on climate change. Earlier, Republican lawmakers, who are a minority in the House, insisted that bills coming to the floor be read in their entirety instead of being summarized, which slowed things down substantially. The 2020 session of the Legislature lasts only 35 days, being an even-year short session.
  • Q13 Fox News: Efforts to expel a controversial state representative from the Washington Legislature are likely over after no Republicans would sign a letter calling for state Rep. Matt Shea’s expulsion. The Spokesman-Review reports that all 98 members of the state House of Representatives were asked Thursday to sign a letter calling for the expulsion of Spokane Valley Republican. All 56 Democrats signed the letter, but no Republicans did.
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Three Way Trophies and why we need more of them.

The coolest trophy in all of college football is the three way trophy. The Commander-in-Chief's Trophy between Army/Navy/Air Force and the Michigan MAC Trophy between Easter Michigan, Central Michigan and Western Michigan are the only ones currently active, but we need more. What's more is that we could even have four way trophies that would be a ton of fun.
The Florida Cup(Miami/Florida/Florida State) and the Beehive Boot(BYU/Utah State/Utah) are semi-active, but they should happen almost every year.
Potential ones that would be easy and wouldn't require realignment:
Cascadia Cup - Technically the name of an MLS Trophy, but we will steal it because it fits so well, Washington, Washington State, Oregon and Oregon State. Makes too much sense.
California Cup - Stanford, USC, Cal and UCLA already play each other every year, even in different divisions. Simple.
Ohio MAC Trophy - Akron, Kent State, Ohio, Bowling Green and Miami are all in the MAC East. Toledo being in the MAC West. Swap Toledo and Buffalo, and the MAC East is essentially a six team trophy already, but that's sort of cheating. Without changing anything, Ohio, Akron and Kent State can have and Eastern Ohio MAC Trophy, and Toledo can play Bowling Green/Miami every year to create a Western MAC Ohio Trophy.
Something that divisional realignment would easily solve:
ACC Carolina Cup - Wake Forest, North Carolina, Duke, NC State. Duke/NC State and UNC/Wake Forest don't play each other every year, but because of the 8 game schedule, they all need to be in one division. Trade WF/NC State with Georgia Tech/Miami. Simple.
After this, it's pretty hard, but I thought of a few ideas that some creative and dedicated AD's could make happen:
Indiana Infighting - Notre Dame, Purdue, Ball State, Indiana.
Ohio River Trophy - Louisville, Cincinnati, Miami (OH), and Marshall.
Appalachia Cup - Tennessee, West Virginia, Appalachian State and Virginia Tech.
Coal Country Clash - West Virginia, Pitt, Penn State.
Rocky Mountain State Rumble - Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming.
South Florida Showdown - Miami, FAU, FIU, USF.
New England Cup(Lobster Roll Championship) - UMass/UConn/Boston College.
Mississippi Delta Madness - ULM, Memphis, Arkansas State, and Ole Miss.
Texas Is Not Quite Back Grand Prix - Cal, Kansas, Maryland.
Lone Star Holy War(Televangelist's Threeway) - TCU/BayloSMU.
Bay Area Rent Control - Cal, Stanford, San Jose State.
Oil Refinery Open - Texas A&M, Houston, Rice.
Red Dirt is Better Than Nashville Country - Tulsa, North Texas, Texas State.
Alabama Afterthoughts Altercation - UAB, South Alabama, Troy.
Battle for the Walter White Corridor - UTEP, New Mexico State, New Mexico.
Cocaine Cup - SMU, Miami, Arizona.
Amtrak Delay Derby - Boston College, Rutgers, Temple.
The I-10 Waffle House Tour - LSU, Louisiana-Lafayette(I guess just Louisiana now?), South Alabama and Florida State.
Rocky Mountain State Rumble 2.0 - Colorado State, Utah State, and New Mexico State.
Rocky Mountain State Rumble Version Family Values - BYU.
Battle for Myrtle Beach(Kenny Powers Cup) - Georgia Southern, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina.
Branson With Your Grandparents Lottery - Tulsa, Arkansas, Arkansas State, and Missouri.
Bottle Service Bonanza - San Diego State, Arizona State, and UNLV.
Hill Country Hullabaloo - Texas State, Texas, UTSA.
Shootyhoops Showdown - Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Indiana.
New Yorker Invitational - Miami, Arizona State, East Carolina, Coastal Carolina.
Californian Invitational - Nevada, Washington State, Boise State.
Bachelorette Party Brawl - UNLV, Vanderbilt, Miami.
Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, Twitter Edition - Army, Navy, Air Force, Space Force.
Big 12 Reject-a-palooza - UCF, Houston, BYU.
Our God is an Awesome God Grand Prix - Baylor, BYU, Notre Dame.
Casino Money - Oklahoma, Louisiana Tech, Tulane.

I know I didn't get all 130 teams in, but it was hard. Any other suggestions welcome.
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Announcement regarding the Las Vegas shooting and the Week 6 pick'em contest

Many of us are waking up this morning to learn of last night's mass shooting in Las Vegas. While I'm sure football is the farthest thing from most people's minds at a terrible time like this, the events of last night have had an impact on the sports betting world and therefore the pick'em contest we run at /Pac12. There was a police lockdown in the city of Las Vegas and it appears many casinos and sportsbooks have suspended their operations for some time.
Normally we wait until Monday night for college football lines to stabilize to lock in the spreads for the contest and make it live, or Tuesday morning if there is still a lot of movement happening late. It seems that there will be a significant disruption to that timeline this week as the oddsmakers in Las Vegas take care of more important things. As such, we will delay the contest until Wednesday morning at the earliest, possibly Thursday as events dictate.
All Pac-12 games will be on Saturday this week, and we won't select any weeknight games outside the conference for the contest. Below is the slate of games that we will use. We'll make another announcement later in the week when the lines are available and the contest is live.
Away Home Time (PT)
Wake Forest Clemson 9:00 AM
Georgia Vanderbilt 9:00 AM
Miami Florida State 12:30 PM
LSU Florida 12:30 PM
Air Force Navy 12:30 PM
West Virginia TCU 12:30 PM
Maryland Ohio State 1:00 PM
Michigan State Michigan 4:30 PM
WSU Oregon 5:00 PM
Arizona Colorado 5:00 PM
Stanford Utah 7:15 PM
Cal Washington 7:45 PM
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2001 season rewatch, weekend 17: Miller Lite 200, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (CART); Belterra Resort Indy 300, Kentucky Speedway (IRL)

DETROIT--The FedEx Championship Series recently concluded its most grueling stretch of the season, with six races in seven weeks. The run began with reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves' second victory of the season at Detroit, and ended with 2000 CART Rookie of the Year Kenny Brack's third win of the year at Chicago.
Now, as the series heads to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Miller Lite 200 (Noon ET Sunday, live, ESPN), Brack (Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola) leads the championship chase with 104 points and Castroneves (Marlboro Honda/Reynard) is his closest pursuer, with 82. But a handful of other drivers remain in contention for the Vanderbilt Cup, emblematic of the FedEx Championship Series Championship, as the series enters its 13th round in Lexington.
Which is pretty much what you'd expect from a championship that has produced eight different winners in the season's first 11 completed events, not to mention a staggering 18 different podium finishers in that same span. That has already established a CART record for different podium finishers in a season, topping the 17 of 1995 and '96, while CART's record for different winners in a campaign is 11, established last year.
At the head of the most competitive driver lineup in the world at present is Brack, whose three victories this season are a series high. His victory at Chicago put him back in the points after back-to-back scoreless finishes at Toronto and Michigan.
All of Brack's victories have come on ovals this year – the other two were recorded at Japan and Milwaukee – but Team Rahal knows how to prepare for road-course competition as well, as evidenced by teammate Max Papis' (Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth/Lola) victory at the most recent road-course event in Portland.
Castroneves, meanwhile, will be looking for a repeat of last year's dominant Marlboro Team Penske performance at Mid-Ohio, when teammate Gil de Ferran (Marlboro Honda/Reynard) won the pole and Castroneves started on the outside. The two then combined to lead all 83 laps and finish one-two in the race, with Castroneves on top.
Castroneves has claimed a pair of victories this season, at Long Beach and Detroit, and has scored 50 of his 82 championship points on road or street courses. He holds a one-point lead over Dario Franchitti (KOOL Honda/Reynard) of Team KOOL Green, who stands third in the championship with 81 points. Franchitti, who owns a victory at Cleveland this season, is a two-time pole-sitter (1998, '99) at Mid-Ohio who also owns a podium finish of third at the venue in 1999.
Michael Andretti (Motorola Honda/Reynard) of Team Motorola, who stands fourth in the championship with 73 points, is a two-time winner at Mid-Ohio (1990, '91) who also owns three career pole positions (1990-92) at the track. Andretti holds a one-point edge over fifth-place de Ferran, the defending FedEx Championship Series champion and defending Mid-Ohio pole-sitter, who arrives off a podium finish of third at Chicago which brought his season total to 72 points.
Joining Castroneves and Andretti as previous winners at Mid-Ohio are Alex Zanardi (PioneeWorldCom Honda/Reynard) of Mo Nunn Racing, who won back-to-back at Mid-Ohio in 1996 and '97; and Adrian Fernandez (Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Reynard) of Fernandez Racing, who logged his third of seven career victories at Mid-Ohio in 1998.
Following the Miller Lite 200, the FedEx Championship Series makes its annual visit to Elkhart Lake, Wis., this season for the Motorola 220, August 17-19 at Road America.
• FedEx Championship Series championship leader Kenny Brack (Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola) of Team Rahal has won a series-high three events this season, the first three victories of his FedEx Championship Series career. Brack, CART's 2000 Rookie of the Year, has recorded victories at Japan, Milwaukee and Chicago, and his additional top-five finishes of second at Nazareth and fifth at Mexico have helped move him into the FedEx Championship Series championship lead with 104 points. Brack's victory at Chicago gave him six finishes of fourth or better in as many career starts on one-mile ovals. He also owns four pole positions this season, at Mexico, Texas, Milwaukee (where the starting grid was based on championship points) and Michigan (where the starting grid was based on practice times). Brack has scored championship points in eight of 11 starts this season and has led a series-high 472 laps, including 443 on ovals.
• Patrick Carpentier (Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard) of the Player's Forsythe Racing Team has posted podium finishes in his past two FedEx Championship Series starts, beginning with his first career victory at Michigan International Speedway last month. He followed that with a runner-up effort at Chicago and has collected 36 of his 51 championship points in the past two events to move from 21st to ninth place in the FedEx Championship Series championship.
• Patrick Carpentier's Player's Forsythe Racing teammate, Alex Tagliani (Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard) has scored championship points in five consecutive starts and six of his past seven, after going scoreless through his first four starts of the season. Included in his current run is Tagliani's career-best finish of second at Toronto, as well as back-to-back sixth-place finishes at Michigan and Chicago. His current scoring run has moved Tagliani from 25th to 15th in the FedEx Championship Series championship, with 38 points.
• Memo Gidley (Target Toyota/Lola) of Target Chip Ganassi Racing has posted top-five finishes in two of his past four starts, including a career-best finish of second at Cleveland and a career-best oval result of fifth at Chicago. Despite making only five starts since joining the Target Ganassi team prior to Round 8 at Portland, Gidley stands fifth in the FedEx Championship Series with 134 laps led, including 68 at Michigan and a race-high 57 at Cleveland. He stands 17th in the FedEx Championship Series championship, with 27 points.
• Rookie Scott Dixon (Powerware Panasonic PacWest Toyota/Reynard) of the PacWest Racing Group has scored championship points in seven of his past nine FedEx Championship Series starts, dating to his first career victory at Nazareth, which made him, at age 20 years, nine months and 14 days, the youngest driver ever to win a major open-wheel event. Also included in Dixon's run is a podium finish of third at Milwaukee and top-five results of fourth at Chicago and fifth at Toronto. Dixon, who holds a commanding 69-27 lead over Bruno Junqueira (Target Toyota/Lola) of Target Chip Ganassi Racing in the battle for the $50,000 Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year Award, has moved into sixth place in the FedEx Championship Series championship with 69 points. Dixon also leads the series in laps led, with 1,583 of a possible 1,629 and miles completed 2,405.840 of a possible 2,509.607.
Full race video
Entry, spotter's guide, practice, qualifying and race results
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Sparta, Ky. (August 11, 2001) – Kelley Racing teammates Scott Sharp and Mark Dismore will start on the front row for Sunday’s Belterra Casino Indy 300 at the Kentucky Speedway. Sharp earned his third pole position this season, the fifth of his Indy racing career, after averaging 214.598 mph around the relatively flat 1.5-mile speedway.
“We stuck a new engine in last night which ran pretty well this morning and again right now,” said Sharp, who was second on Friday’s speed chart. “We didn’t really change the car that much, we just tweaked it, added a little here, added a little there, made a slight change in the tire pressures and it all came together a lot more faster than I thought it would.”
Sharp, who was fastest in this morning’s practice session with a lap at 214.379 mph, was surprised that he was able to match that speed in qualifying. “I was drafting in practice. I ran a 214.4 for two laps when I was following (Felipe) Giaffone around. I felt honestly I could run a mid to high 213 (mph). I was amazed at how fast we ran.”
This is the second time this season that both Kelley Racing cars have started on the front row. Dismore earned the pole at Texas in June with Sharp starting alongside. The positions will be reversed when they take the green flag at Kentucky.
“Overall, I’m happy,” said Dismore, whose car is powered by an Ilmor-prepared Oldsmobile engine. “I’m thrilled it’s an all Kelley front row. Hopefully, tomorrow we can keep it that way, only we can reverse the order.”
The all Kelley front row is flanked by an all Infiniti power second row with Eddie Cheever edging Robbie Buhl for the third starting spot.
“We made a mistake on the gearing this afternoon in qualifying,” said Cheever, who is still looking for Infiniti’s first pole. “We kept hovering between a gear that’s too short and a gear that’s too long. Once we get the gearing right, we’ll be okay.”
Both Infiniti drivers have a car capable of running with the lead pack all day. Now it’s a matter of staying out of trouble, running consistent laps until it’s time to make the final charge to the checkered flag.
“It’s a very long race,” said Cheever. “The Infiniti 35A engine has been particularly strong on these 1.5-mile ovals and it’s a very drivable engine in traffic. We’re looking forward to tomorrow.”
Greg Ray will start fifth tomorrow. Ray, who has started from the pole 14 times in his career, lost a half-shaft during this morning’s practice session. Just to be safe, his crew changed the right side suspension in the hour between practice and qualifying.
“We really got lucky not to total the race car,” said Ray. “We were very, very lucky not to have a huge crash because of that. We had to replace the whole right side suspension. You don’t really know what kind of damage that half-shaft did coming out the back.”
A two-hour window was scheduled between morning practice and qualifying but a blanket of thick fog shrouded the track when teams arrived this morning, causing practice to be delayed. Drivers sat waiting in their cars warming their engines when word came that the medical evacuation helicopter was still grounded in Lexington 45 miles away.
Practice got underway as soon as the helicopter lifted off and the full session was completed without incident.
The field takes the green flag at 12:30 EDT with live television coverage provided by ABC-TV.
Short 90 second highlights
What the hell is this?
In the long off-season we're rewatching the 2001 CART and IRL seasons, in chronological order. This is round 13 of the CART series and round 10 of the IRL, and you can discuss the races below. Enjoy!
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2001 season rewatch, weekend 15: Harrah's 200, Nashville Superspeedway (IRL); Harrah's 500 Presented by Toyota, Michigan International Speedway (CART)

LEBANON, Tenn., Friday, July 20, 2001 - Greg Ray returned to his usual strong qualifying form, edging Indy Racing Northern Light Series points leader Sam Hornish Jr. to win the MBNA Pole for the Harrah's Indy 200 with a lap of 199.922 mph July 20 at Nashville Superspeedway.
It was the fourth MBNA Pole of the season for Ray in the No. 2 Johns Manville/Menards Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone and the 13th of his Indy Racing career, extending his series record. He qualified an uncharacteristic 10th at the last Indy Racing event, the Ameristar Casino Indy 200 on July 8 at Kansas Speedway. Ray has 22 front-row starts during his Indy Racing career.
Ray was one of five drivers to break the 200-mph barrier in the final practice this afternoon on the 1.33-mile concrete oval, but light rain that delayed the start of qualifying by 40 minutes changed conditions.
"The track didn't have quite the same grip," Ray said. "The air's a little muggier. We never got to top gear. We had a pretty good lap there at the end, but we could never get up to top gear.
"We thought we could do exactly what we did in practice if not a little better. The rain definitely changed things for us."
Hornish was second at 199.750 in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, tying his career-best starting spot. Hornish led the afternoon practice at 201.037.
The Harrah's Indy 200 starts at 7 p.m. (CDT) Saturday. The race is sold out and will be televised live on ESPN.
Mark Dismore qualified third at 199.239 in the No. 28T Delphi Automotive Systems/Bryant Heating & Cooling Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. Billy Boat was a season-best fourth at 199.175 in the No. 98T CURB Records Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. In fact, it was Boat's best start since winning the pole in July 1999 at Atlanta.
Eddie Cheever Jr. rounded out the top five at 199.100 in the #51 Cheever Indy Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.
Defending series champion Buddy Lazier was sixth at 198.681 in the No. 91 Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. Lazier is second in the Northern Light Cup standings, 60 points behind Hornish.
Qualifying produced a tight field, as 14 drivers were within a half second of Ray.
Full race video
DETROIT--Michigan International Speedway, which has played host to two of the three closest finishes in Champ Car history during the past two years, will be primed for another this weekend as the FedEx Championship Series returns for the Harrah's 500 Presented by Toyota (1:30 p.m. ET, live, ABC-TV).
The two-mile oval located in the Irish Hills of southeast Michigan has hosted some storied Champ Car events of late, beginning with Tony Kanaan's 0.032-second victory over Juan Montoya in 1999, which stands as the second-closest finish in Champ Car history. Kanaan had inherited the lead two turns from the checkered flag when Max Papis of Team Rahal, who had led a race-high 143 laps, ran out of fuel.
Montoya was again a principal in last year's FedEx Championship Series event at Michigan, as he and Michael Andretti waged a dazzling wheel-to-wheel duel over the final 20 laps before Montoya nudged ahead for a 0.040-second victory at the checkered flag. The race featured a whopping 52 lead changes at the start/finish line--third in CART history--and an unofficial 162 on the race track overall, and Montoya's margin of victory stands as the third-closest in Champ Car history.
As the series prepares for its final visit to Michigan, Andretti (Motorola Honda/Reynard) arrives looking to reverse last year's outcome. He claimed his record-41st CART victory in spectacular last-to-first fashion on the streets of Toronto last week, a triumph that moved him from sixth into second place in the FedEx Championship Series championship. With 73 points, Andretti trails championship leader Kenny Brack (84 points) of Team Rahal by 11 as the season approaches its midway point.
Andretti is a two-time winner at Michigan Speedway (1987, '89) and has led 705 laps in 20 career starts at the venue. He is one of four former Michigan winners in the field this weekend, and the only one among the top five contenders for the FedEx Championship Series championship.
Brack (Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola) has built his championship lead on a pair of victories at Japan and Milwaukee--the first two of his FedEx Championship Series career--and a consistent record of finish that has seen him score championship points in seven of nine completed events this season. He leads the series in points scored on ovals, with 59, and has also collected 330 of his series-leading 359 laps led on oval circuits.
Brack qualified 10th and finished 22nd due to contact in his inaugural appearance at Michigan International Speedway as a rookie last year.
Andretti's victory at Toronto extended a run that has seen him finish among the top eight drivers in four of his past five starts, including a podium result of second at Milwaukee. Of the other three former Michigan winners in this year's field, two are currently driving for Mo Nunn Racing: Kanaan (Hollywood Honda/Reynard), whose 1999 Michigan victory came as a member of McDonald's Championship Racing; and Alex Zanardi (Pioneer Honda/Reynard), who won at Michigan in 1997 en route to his first of two consecutive FedEx Championship Series championships for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
The other former Michigan winner in this weekend's field is Jimmy Vasser (Patrick Racing Toyota/Reynard) of Patrick Racing, who won The Inaugural U.S. 500 in 1996.
The weekend's entry list also includes one driver who already has a 500-mile victory to his credit this season, reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Honda/Reynard) of Marlboro Team Penske. Castroneves stands third to Brack and Andretti in the FedEx Championship Series championship, with 70 points.
Rounding out the top five drivers in the championship chase are Dario Franchitti (KOOL Honda/Reynard) of Team KOOL Green, fourth with 65 points, and defending FedEx Championship Series champion Gil de Ferran (Marlboro Honda/Reynard) of Marlboro Team Penske, fifth with 58. Franchitti recorded a podium finish of third to Montoya and Andretti at Michigan last year, while de Ferran was runner-up to his Marlboro Team Penske teammate Castroneves at this year's Indianapolis 500 in May.
All FedEx Championship Series entries ride on Firestone Tires, the Official Tire of CART.
The Harrah's 500 Presented by Toyota is Round 11 of 21 in the 2001 FedEx Championship Series. The series visits seven countries and four continents during the season and climaxes with the season-ending Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota on Sunday, Nov. 4, at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Thanks to a partnership between Marlboro, Toyota, CART and California Speedway, the winner of the season finale will collect $1 million, one of the richest paydays in all of motorsports. An additional $1 million, as well as the prestigious Vanderbilt Cup, will be awarded to the driver who wins the FedEx Championship Series championship.
Following the Harrah's 500 Presented by Toyota, the FedEx Championship Series completes a run of six events in seven weeks with Round 12, the Target Grand Prix Presented by Energizer, July 27-29 at Chicago Motor Speedway in Cicero, Ill.
• Michael Andretti (Motorola Honda/Reynard) of Team Motorola has finished eighth or better in four of his past five FedEx Championship Series starts, dating to a runner-up finish at Milwaukee and including a victory last weekend at Toronto. The run also includes finishes of fourth at Detroit and eighth at Portland, and has moved Andretti into second place in the FedEx Championship Series championship with 73 points, 11 behind championship leader Kenny Brack (Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola) of Team Rahal, who leads with 84 points. Andretti's victory last Sunday was the 41st of his career, tops on CART's all-time list and gave him at least one win in 14 different seasons--also a CART record--including the past eight in a row.
• FedEx Championship Series championship leader Kenny Brack of Team Rahal has scored championship points in six of his past seven starts, dating to a runner-up result at Nazareth and including back-to-back victories at Japan and Milwaukee, the first of his FedEx Championship Series career. He also finished ninth at Detroit, 11th at Portland and sixth at Cleveland and enters this weekend's Harrah's 500 Presented by Toyota as the FedEx Championship Series championship leader, with 84 points. Brack has also qualified third or better in six of 10 qualifying performances this season, with poles at Mexico, Texas and Milwaukee and outside poles at Long Beach and Nazareth.
• Christian Fittipaldi (Kmart Toyota/Lola) of Newman/Haas Racing finished 12th at Toronto to extend a run that has seen him score championship points in six of his past seven starts, dating to a fifth-place finish at Nazareth. He also finished fourth at Japan, fifth at Detroit, third at Portland and 11th at Cleveland. Fittipaldi has improved from 22nd when the run began to ninth in the FedEx Championship Series championship, with 49 points.
• Max Papis (Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth/Lola) of Team Rahal owns points-paying finishes in five of his past six FedEx Championship Series starts, including a victory from the pole at Portland. The run also includes finishes of sixth at Japan, eighth at Milwaukee and Toronto and 11th at Detroit. He stands 11th in the FedEx Championship Series championship, with 43 points.
• Roberto Moreno (Visteon Toyota/Reynard) of Patrick Racing has collected championship points with seven of his past eight FedEx Championship Series finishes, including podium results of second at Detroit and third at Portland. The run also includes finishes of eighth at Cleveland, 10th at Japan, 11th at Long Beach and Toronto and 12th at Nazareth. Moreno stands 12th in the FedEx Championship Series championship with 43 points.
• Mauricio Gugelmin (Nextel PacWest Toyota/Reynard) of the PacWest Racing Group has scored championship points in five of his past six FedEx Championship Series starts. He comes to this weekend's Harrah's 500 Presented by Toyota off a season-best finish of seventh at Toronto last weekend. Gugelmin's current run also includes finishes of 10th at Milwaukee, Detroit and Cleveland and 12th at Japan. He also owns a pole position at Cleveland, his first since establishing a world closed-course speed record of 240.941 miles per hour in the 1997 season finale at California Speedway. Gugelmin stands 20th in the FedEx Championship Series championship, with 17 points.
• Alex Tagliani (Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard) of Player's Forsythe Racing finished second to Michael Andretti at Toronto, the best result of his two-year FedEx Championship Series career. He has scored championship points in three of four of his past five FedEx Championship Series starts, dating to a 12th-place effort at Milwaukee and including finishes of 12th at Portland and ninth at Cleveland.
Full race video (240p)
Playlist of full race in 15 chunks (480p)
Entry, spotter's guide, practice, qualifying and race results
Articles, notes and press releases
What the hell is this?
In the long off-season we're rewatching the 2001 CART and IRL seasons, in chronological order. This is round 11 of the CART series and round 9 of the IRL, and you can discuss the races below. Enjoy!
submitted by GreatZapper to INDYCAR [link] [comments]

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