It’s rivalry week and in the ever-changing landscape of college football, 2023’s final regular season week has even more storylines than usual. Conference realignment brings an added element of urgency to several rivalries.
The Apple Cup is one such game, as the Washington Huskies and Washington State Cougars will play their final game as Pac-12 foes on Saturday.
What is the Apple Cup?
The Apple Cup is an annual rivalry game between in-state enemies Washington and Washington State. This year’s Apple Cup will be the final Apple Cup contested between the two as conference rivals since Washington is moving to the Big Ten in 2024.
The teams recently announced that the rivalry will continue despite Washington’s move to the Big Ten, as the teams have signed up to play each other through at least 2028.
The Huskies and Cougars have played every year since 1945 — except for 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
History of the Apple Cup
The annual rivalry game, first contested in 1900, was dubbed the Apple Cup in 1963. After the conclusion of the game, the Apple Trophy is awarded to the winning head coach by the governor of the state of Washington.
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Typically contested on Black Friday in recent years, the teams will play on Saturday afternoon in 2023. Washington has dominated throughout the history of the rivalry as the Huskies lead the all-time series 75-33-6. The Huskies are also in the midst of a hot streak, winning all but one game since 2013.
The rivalry started with a 5-5 tie before Washington State (Then Washington Agricultural) won the first game. Washington won the next three meetings to take an early series lead it has never relinquished.
The game alternates between Seattle and Pullman and is being contested at Husky Stadium this year. As the teams endure realignment in 2024, the rivalry will continue annually, at least in the short term.