With the Huskies getting a dramatic, last second victory Saturday in Berkley, football fans in Washington can say something that they haven’t been able to say in years: The Apple Cup matters!
The Huskies have inched to within one win of a bowl game for the first time since 2002 and, with a win in the Apple Cup, the Dawgs will either be in the Holiday Bowl or Sun Bowl. Needless to say, this would be a huge accomplishment for a program that’s been in disarray since 2003.
While UW has been in the dumps, WSU has since followed in the same path. After a decent run in the beginning of the decade, the Cougars have since fallen about as low as a team can get. For 2 years in a row, they were historically bad (winning 3 games over 2 years). This year looked as if it’d be more of the same, but then the Cougars started to improve. They’ve gotten better every game and finally earned a Pac-10 win in their last game against Oregon State. Was that game an apparition that will be forgotten in a few years, or was it a turning point for the Cougars? A good performance in the Apple Cup would be a huge statement for Wazzu.
The Apple Cup has been a game between two crappy teams the last few years. It hasn’t had bowl implications since 2006. This year, that changes.
Rivalry games are special no matter what. But, when a rivalry game has a little something extra on the line, they become more fun. This game doesn’t just matter for Husky fans, it matters for Cougar fans because they don’t want us in a bowl. Hopefully, this game is a sign of better things to come for both programs. It feels like it is. But, for now, an Apple Cup that actually means something is a reason to celebrate.
Happy Apple Cup week, football fans! Go Huskies!