Like clockwork, the weekend after Thanksgiving brings two of the biggest rivalries together for one of college football's greatest games of the year, the Apple Cup.
Washington State University goes head to head with the University of Washington whose more recent football legends have yet to disappoint and brought a win to the university more than six years in a row. Leaving the WSU Cougars to freeze in their tracks (almost literally).
BUT, not this year! The WSU Cougars are currently number one on the west coast. Claiming the number eight seat in the top of the Pac-12 Conference this year, while UW is ranked as number nine? Nope. Ten? Nope, they are ranked as number 21.
According to ESPN College Football Power Rankings, both schools are the only two apart of the Pac-12 this year with fewer than three conference losses, and to top it off, the Cougars are currently 9-1 and have won 22 of their last 29 games against Pac-12 opponents. GO COUGS! This should make for an interesting game.
1. The history of the Apple Cup.
So the Apple Cup has been a statewide tradition since 1900 and has been played annually for over 80 years. The tension between the two schools comes from more than just athletic rivalries but also from contributing factors like the politics, the lifestyle, the academics, the environment, and more importantly the location that puts a huge divide between the schools Apple Cup Rivalry. As one, UW is nestled between Lake Washington and Lake Union, WSU is located in Pullman, and if you come from a more urban region, which lets face it we all do, the six and a half hour drive through the Cascade Mountains and rolling wheat fields can come as a bit of a shock. The two schools are quite literally on completely opposite sides of the state of Washington, yet tension runs deep.
2. The game switches locations every year.
Dedicated students, faculty, alumni, and Washington State citizens spend the days before Thanksgiving preparing their turkeys, stuffing, and mashed potatoes right alongside their crimson and grey or purple and gold signs of spirit! The event takes place each year at one of two locations, either in the hustle and bustle of the city of Seattle at UW's Husky Stadium or in Pullman at the WSU Cougars Martin Stadium. This year, WSU Cougars, have a home advantage, like its fans, and rivals will eat their turkey quickly to make the six and a half hour drive over the river and through the SNOW to the "Promise Land" to witness the WSU Cougars kick some Husky a#$.
3. The weather is going to be awful.
Before making the long, but worth it, trek back to the Promised Land, it's important to be prepared for all that you may face on this journey. Besides a Cougar victory, the weather conditions when traveling from the west to the east side of the state have proven to be difficult in more ways than one and have also, in the past, led to the loss of the lives of several of our own. No matter where your traveling from, make sure you are up to date on all weather conditions leading you to Pullman.
4. Be careful driving to Pullman.
If you already know you will be traveling through the Cascades be up to date on the latest conditions by viewing this website www.wsdot.com and checking it frequently, especially once approaching the pass.
5. Bundle up.
Our lovely, yet unpredictable weather here in Pullman, tends to be more on the chilly side of things and temperatures in the low 30's can be expected on game day, that means BUNDLE UP!!!!
6. Show up early.
This year is a huge year for our WSU Cougars as they have been literally killing the game all season. While they need as much support as they can get, Martin Stadium is going to be a packed house for the football game.
All student section seats are first come, first served. Tickets for the game have been sold out since October, and all attendees need to arrive early, as there are no guarantees for admission, even for those students with a sports pass.
KICKOFF is at 5:30 p.m. and gates will open to the public two hours prior. Find your way back home to Martin Stadium this holiday season, skip the black Friday BS and support your COUGS!!!!!!!