A Washington State Tradition Survives the Axe…For Now
After much speculation about the future of a 115 year Washington State institution, the news came yesterday that it will be preserved for the immediate future. To some, it may simply be a football game. To others, it is a cherished rivalry between the gridirons version of David and Goliath to a degree.
This Saturday will be the 115th Apple Cup between the University of Washington Huskies and the Washington State Cougars. Kickoff is 1pm from Husky Stadium in Seattle. Until 2006, when the college football season expanded, the game was played the weekend before Thanksgiving. After 2006, it has been played Thanksgiving weekend. That will change moving forward.
What is the Future of the Apple Cup?
The Apple Cup will continue through 2028 even with the Huskies leaving the Pac-12 for the Big 10 and the future uncertain for the Cougars. The Thanksgiving part of the equation will end as the Huskies are scheduled to play the Oregon Ducks on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend next year.
In yesterday's release by the schools, next year's game will be played September 14th at Lumen Field, the home of the Seahawks. The alternating home field will resume with 2025 and 2027 being played at Martin Stadium in Pullman and the 2026 and 2028 games at Husky Stadium in Seattle.
The first Apple Cup was played in 1990 in Seattle and ended in a 5-5 tie. Then WSU was known as the Washington Agricultural College, before becoming Washington State College and eventually a University. The history of game, and the players who have participated int he rivalry is rich:
- UW leads the series 75-33-6
- WSU has never won more than two Apple Cups in a row (8 times)
- UW has won 8 in a row on two separate occasions (1959-66 & 1974-81)
- WSU had the first player selected in the 1st Round of the NFL Draft (1937 Ed Goddard, 2nd Overall, Brooklyn Dodgers)
- The 1992 Apple Cup (The Snow Bowl) featured two future #1 picks in the NFL Draft. UW DL Steve Entman (#1 in 1992) and WSU QB Drew Bledsoe (#1 in 1993)
- UW boasts the most famous undrafted NFL player...QB Warren Moon played the CFL for the Edmonton Eskimos from 1978-83 before suiting up for the Houston Oilers in the NFL.
- The schools have a combined 5 players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Mel Hein and Turk Edwards for WSU and Hugh McElheney, Arnie Weimeister, and Warren Moon. Don Coryell (UW staff 1949) is the only coach.
Below is a walk through Apple Cup memory lane...I hope you enjoy, and remember, many of the amazing games, players, and coaches that made the game so special for so many over the last century plus.