Tag Archives: Apple Cup

Apple Cup Predictions

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the frustrations of sports.  Seattle teams lose much more than they win, and it can get frustrating.  Some level of aggravation is normal, as it would be with any interest when it goes poorly.  It can be easy to let it get out of hand and take over one’s life, though, and that seems a shame.

Sometimes we need to step back and remember that sports themselves are great.  For every frustration, there’s the simple fact that sports are fun and exciting and entertaining. Is there anything better than sitting at Husky Stadium or Century Link or Safeco on a clear day?  Seattle is blessed with professional and major college teams, and whether they’re good or not, not everywhere is so lucky.

I hope the Huskies win Friday, and I hope the Seahawks make the Super Bowl this year.  I really hope the Mariners are good again in my lifetime.  Even if they’re not, I’m thankful I get to go to Husky games with my dad and brother and sister.  I’m thankful for the countless memories and hours of enjoyment sports have brought me.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and thanks for reading.


The Apple Cup is a rivalry game. Rivalry games, as they say, you can throw the records out the window, they don’t matter.  I am usually lukewarm about that assertion, because usually records do matter, and do reflect reality.  Your record is who you are. In the case of this year Apple Cup, I agree, records don’t matter. In the sense that WSU isn’t as good as theirs indicates, and UW is better than theirs indicates.

I have had an ongoing discussion with the other good guys regarding how opposite these two schools conference schedules have been. In a nutshell, WSU has had all their tougher opponents at home, UW, conversely, on the road (the exception being Oregon for both schools).  WSU has had the fortunate circumstances of not playing UCLA, getting Lane Kiffin’s USC team early, and catching a sleeping Arizona a week before senior day.  UW played Stanford, ASU and UCLA all on the road.  The point of all this is to say that I believe WSU’s 6-5 record is a bit of a mirage, aided by favorable conference scheduling and timing.  Conversely I believe UW’s 7-4 record is misleading as well.  I maintain if UW had WSU’s conf schedule, the Huskies would probably be at 9 wins already. They are that good of a football team.  And I think it will show Friday.

WSU will throw exclusively and be buoyed by a stingy defense, but in the end the Dawgs have two huge factors in their favor: Husky Stadium and revenge.  In sports, home field and a desire to get back at a rival almost always leads to victory.  It will Friday.  Watch for UW to establish a running game early no matter what, and watch for one of UW’s WRs to have a 100+ yd game (Stringfellow). WSU’s inability to run will lead to multiple Halliday interceptions that will kill WSU drives.  Late 3rd qtr the Dawgs will start to break WSU’s will with the run game.  Cougs go back home empty handed.

UW 38 – WSU 19


Andrew’s written before about how my predictions always seem to go wrong.  I’ve done pretty well picking games this year, but if I make a proclamation in game, the opposite generally happens.  So, I’m a little hesitant to say this, but I have a really hard time seeing the Huskies losing this game.  The Cougars are better than last year, but I don’t think they’re very good.  I think UW, when focused and clicking, is a pretty dominating team.  Plus, they’re playing at home, which is generally all the difference they need against middling opponents.

I’m curious to see whether last week’s blowout win will function as the proverbial light bulb going on for this team.  Sometimes guys just need to see what can happen when they come out and play exactly as hard and as smart as they can.  Hopefully the dominating results  from that effort will give them confidence and motivate them to prepare and play like they did last week in the games and seasons to come.

As for the Apple Cup, I could see a close game, but I could also see the Huskies coming out hot again, reeling off a couple of scores and cruising to a big win.  Connor Halliday might be the difference between a close game and a blowout.  He can be very good at quarterback, and then he can be absolutely horrible at the flip of a switch.  The Huskies need to get some pressure early, hit a couple of passes over the top, and let Bishop carve up the Cougar defense.  I don’t think Black Friday will hold any good deals for WSU.

UW 45 – WSU 27


After the beatdown the Huskies gave the Beavers last Saturday night, Husky fans are truly feeling good about the team for the first time since they were 4-0.  These good feelings should continue on Friday afternoon.  WSU has improved and will no doubt be ready to play.  They have rode a beneficial schedule to bowl eligibility but they are a better team than the one that the Huskies lost to last year.  The difference this year is that the Huskies will probably show up to the 4th quarter.  This Husky team is angry and ready to prove that last year was a mirage.  If the Huskies jump ahead early this game could get ugly, but, since it’s the Apple Cup, I expect this one to stay close throughout.

UW 35 – WSU 24


A bit late to get my prediction in, but here’s my quick take.

It’s impossible to know if the Huskies will be clicking tomorrow like they did last week. If they play well, there is no doubt in my mind the Dawgs will roll. I’m biased, sure, but I really believe the Huskies are a much better team than the Cougars. But again, we can’t know which UW team will show up and if Wazzu is the better team for 60 minutes tomorrow, they can absolutely win, and have major bragging rights in what would be their 6th apple cup in the last 10. The Pac 12 has been tough to predict, and rivalry games often surprise too, so anything can happen. If I were betting, I think the Huskies will win comfortably because I don’t see Sankey and the UW offense being contained, nor do I see the Cougs’ one dimensional offense having it’s way against the home team’s D. Expect an inspired, revenge seeking performance by the mighty men who where purple and gold. Go Dawgs!

UW 41 – WSU 24

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Chai Picks UW!

Chai, an Asian elephant at Woodland Park Zoo, goes for apples in the Huskies-wrapped box, marking her pick for the Apple Cup

I’ll take Chai’s analysis over any other sound argument. She offers a solid, unbiased opinion. Here’s to hoping she’s right.


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Apple Cup – Rap Edition



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Bowl Talk…Knock On Wood

Forgive me for discussing this, because I know without an Apple Cup win, none of this matters, but I just can’t help it. It’s been too long since we could entertain legitimate bowl talk, so allow me to put the cart ahead of the horse (did I get that right Matt?). Also, I doubt very much if anything written on this blog can jinx the football Gods.

2 weeks ago, in a previous post I stated

If UW beats UCLA and Cal, and Oregon and Stanford handle their remaining games, the Huskies will be playing for a Holiday Bowl bid in the Apple Cup on 12/4. Believe big!

Well, heading into the Apple Cup, everything has followed this script perfectly. And with a win on Saturday, the Washington Huskies will be invited to either the Holiday Bowl (Thursday, 12/30, 7 pm) or possibly the Alamo Bowl (Wednesday, 12/29, 6:15 pm). Either scenario would be terrific, and it couldn’t have happened without the Huskies climbing towards 6 wins, and also some good fortune in what has been a crazy 2010 season.

Let’s remember, the Alamo Bowl and Holiday Bowl are slated to be represented by the Pac-10 #2 and #3 teams respectively. In most years, 9 or 10 wins is usually required to play in either game. But this is no ordinary year. For starters, the conference is ultra competitive, and the fallout has been an unusually low number of bowl eligible teams. In addition, Oregon is undefeated and likely headed towards the championship game, which means they won’t fill any of the conference’s affiliated bowl slots. Mix in a 1 loss Stanford team that has also worked their way into the BCS, and suddenly the remaining eligible teams get to fill some pretty desirable bowl slots.

What we know is that in either case, the Huskies would be matched up against a Big 12 opponent—Alamo Bowl (Big 12 #3), Holiday Bowl (Big 12 #5). The Big 12 is no slouch, especially the conference’s top 5 teams. In fact, the BCS rankings have all 5 in the top 20. Oklahoma (#9), Missouri (#12), Nebraska (#13), Oklahoma St. (#14), Texas A&M (#18). Oklahoma faces Nebraska on Saturday to determine who gets the Fiesta Bowl bid. Conventional wisdom says the loser will be rewarded the Cotton Bowl, which is affiliated with the Big 12 #2 team. However, a little known fact is that the bowls actually have a lot of say in who they invite, and lots of factors play into their decision, so it’s tough to predict where each Big 12 team will land.

As for the Pac-10, I thought that if Arizona were to lose to Arizona State, the Huskies would claim the Alamo, until I learned that the bowls get to pick. It seems likely that the Alamo Bowl would prefer Arizona for a multitude of reasons. First, they beat the Huskies. Secondly, they have a better overall record, and were ranked for most of the year. On the downside, a loss to ASU would mean ‘Zona has lost 4 in a row, compared to a hot Washington team. If the Wildcats beat the Sun Devils, their Alamo ticket is sealed. With a loss, and some other factors playing out, it is possible that Washington is selected by the Alamo Bowl. No matter the fallout, I don’t see the Huskies facing Nebraska, because no bowl is going to want that re-match.

The possibilities are endless, but if the Huskies win the Apple Cup, there’s a high probability they end up in the Holiday Bowl, against Missouri or Oklahoma State. If I had to pick today, my guess is a Washington-Missouri matchup.


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The Apple Cup Matters!

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!


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