The Apple Cup is the name of the annual intrastate rivalry football game played by Pac Ten Conference rivals, the University of Washington Huskies and Washington State University Cougars. These two colleges have met 102 times in the history of the Apple Cup rivalry. Each season the winner of this highly anticipated matchup goes home with the coveted Apple Cup trophy, a traveling trophy that stays with the school that won last competition.
The University of Washington is located in Seattle, Washington (the state’s largest city). Approximately 285 miles east of Seattle is the city of Pullman, Washington, where the main campus of the Washington State University Cougars is located. The specific location of the annual Apple Cup game alternates between Martin Stadium (capacity 35,117) in Pullman and Husky Stadium (capacity 72,500) in Seattle. It takes students about four and a half hours to commute from campus to campus for away soccer games.
The annual game between the state’s two largest universities takes place on the Saturday following the Thanksgiving holiday and marks the final game of the regular season. Prior to the 2007 season, the game had historically been played on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, but due to a stretch of the college football schedule to 12 games, the Apple Cup game was recently postponed to the weekend after Thanksgiving to preserve its place as the final game of the regular season.
The story of how the Apple Cup title came to be associated with this rivalry is actually quite short. For much of the rivalry’s history dating back to November 1900, established opponents dubbed this game the Governor’s Trophy, but that changed in 1962. Beginning with the 1962 match, the name of the annual meeting between the two university was changed from the Governor’s Trophy to the Apple Cup in recognition of the apples and apples for which Washington state is so famous.
Although the name change officially occurred in 1962, when college football historians debate the record these two schools have against each other in the Apple Cup, they generally count wins and losses back to the first meeting on November 30, 1900 which it ended in a 5 -5 draw (a very bizarre final score by modern standards). Over the 102 meetings these programs have had on the iron gridiron, the University of Washington leads the series overall by a tally of 65-31-6.