Tomorrow is the Apple Cup and it is once again all Cougar fans are left looking forward too when it comes to the current season. For the Cougs this season has been an unmitigated disaster; for the Huskies it has been a season of unimaginable lows (41-3 LSU) to unimaginable highs (knocking off two Top-ten teams). The Huskies have somehow managed to get back into the Top-25 (how they managed to get there in the first place is still confuzling to me) and now they get to make the trek across the state to the City they’ve complained about playing at in the past (1913, 1954, 2006); from 1950-1980 the Huskies forced the Cougs to play at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane for increased ticket revenue, the Huskies went 12-3 in games at Albi and are 8-6 in games at Martin.
There is irrationality to Cougar hatred of the Huskies but there are also historical reasons for it. From the beginning the UW has tried to screw over WSU; from the first game in 1900 to the first break in the series in 1905, the Dawgs only made the trek to Pullman once (the
Huskies only loss in the first five games came in that trip to Pullman). In fact in the first 20 years of the rivalry the Huskies only made the trek to Pullman twice, while the Cougs made the trip to Seattle ten times. When you extend it to the first 40 years of the rivalry the Huskies only made the hike over to Pullman seven times; while the Cougs made the trip to Seattle seventeen times. In other words the Huskies abused the fact that they played in a bigger market and it set into motion the hatred that you see today.
Today of course that hatred has manifested itself on the blogosphere and is still pretty one sided as in we Cougs hate the Huskies more than the Huskies hate us. The one thing that always makes me giggle is that the UW fans that went to Bellevue College or City Community College making fun of WSU’s academics, clearly you couldn’t make it at one of the four year universities so why try and attack someone who did make it? Oh and by the way don’t put too much cream into my coffee I’ve been having stomach issues lately.
See two can play at that game people.
Okay back to the original intent of this post. This post was supposed to be about one of the most underrated rivalries in the Country and I somehow managed to get completely off track…whoops. Right interesting moments in this rivalry. There is the 1981 game in which the winner would go to Pasadena and the loser would end up at some nameless bowl, the Huskies curbed stomped the Cougs. But a year later the Cougs got just deserts in the first home game at Martin in around 30 years; the #5 Huskies lost and WSU students stormed the field, tore down the goal post and dumped them into Paradise Creek.
As a Coug Rick Neuheisel is a man I can never forgive, his 9-0 record against the Cougs included four straight victories over my beloved Cougs as the Husky Head Coach. Including the controversial ending in 2002 that caused nine-year old me to walk up to the TV and flip him the double bird during his on-field, post-game interview. Bill Doba kind of returned the favor by going 3-2 against the Huskies during his tenure as Head Coach at Wazzu. Then there was the gloriousness of the 2008 “Crapple” Cup when a Kevin Lopina threw the ball further than anyone knew he could on a 48-yard bomb to Jared Karstetter allowing the Cougs to kick the game-tying field goal and eventually winning in overtime, pushing the Huskies to 0-11 and all but guaranteeing that they would finish 0-12.
This year promises to be an interesting addition to the rich history of the Apple Cup as Coach Leach gets his first taste of this rivalry and Sark is looking for his fourth straight win. It should be typical Seattle winter weather (mid-forties and rainy) which helps the Huskies more then it helps the Cougs. The Huskies were 11 point favorites last time I checked and I only expect that number to grow as people put more money on the Dawgs to wipe the floor with the Cougs. This should be an interesting ball game and should go down as another interesting chapter in the rich history of the Apple Cup.
Proud alum of Washington State University, crazy sports nut, and drinker of beer.