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Apple Cup 2023: the last bite of the apple?

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Well, at least the Apple Cup as we know it...?

Few sports traditions in Washington state have been around as long as the Apple Cup rivalry between the University of Washington and Washington State University.

But before we get into comparing apples to apples, let’s step into the way back machine to see how it all started.

Back when football helmets were made of leather, and very few players wore shoulder pads, the Huskies and the Cougars first squared off in 1900. The game ended in a 5-5 tie.

Back then, it was called the Governor’s Cup, but was renamed the Apple Cup in 1962.

Since 1946, the game has been held in odd years in Seattle at Husky Stadium and in even years in Pullman at Rogers Field, which later became Martin Stadium in 1972.

The matchup is traditionally the final game of the regular season and took place on the Saturday preceding Thanksgiving. With the NCAA's extension of the regular season to 12 games in 2006, the game has most commonly been held on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Fun facts

Eight players are known to have played for both the Cougars and the Huskies in the early 1940s. All eight began their careers at WSU but transferred to UW for the equivalent of officer-candidate training during World War II. Six played immediately at UW in 1943 after WSU suspended its football program, while two others became Huskies after the war.

In 2008, WSU had a record of one win and 10 losses, and the UW had zero wins with 10 losses. The media coined the game the “Crapple" Cup for obvious reasons.

This Saturday’s game at Husky Stadium will be the 115th edition - and with the changes coming to the Pac-12 Conference, some worried it might be the last. 

But the two schools recently agreed in principle to a five-year continuation of the Apple Cup through at least 2028.

Next year's match-up will take place on September 14, 2024 at Lumen Field in Seattle, with the following four games alternating between the school's campuses.

Over the years, fans have dressed up in crimson or purple fashion ensembles to drive 300 miles through sketchy mountain pass conditions to sit in the cold, rain, snow, and darkness to cheer on their teams.

So, whether you’re a Cougar or a Husky or a house divided, one thing is certain, the Apple Cup is one of the oldest and best rivalries in all of college football.

Plus, what better way to burn off all that turkey dinner than by yelling at the TV?

Headed to the game this year? Use our trip planner to make your trip as sweet as apple pie. 

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