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 the Washington State University Cougars. These two colleges have played each other 102 times in the history of the Apple Cup rivalry. Every season the winner of this much anticipated match up gets to go home with the coveted Apple Cup trophy, a traveling trophy that remains with whichever school won the most recent contest.
The University of Washington is located in Seattle, Washington (the largest city in the state). 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 make the drive from one campus to the other for away football games.
The annual game between the two largest universities in the state 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 the Saturday before Thanksgiving but due to a lengthening of the college football schedule to 12 games the game Apple Cup game has recently been pushed back to the weekend after Thanksgiving in order to preserve its place as the final regular season game.
The story of how the title Apple Cup came to be associated with this rivalry is actually quite brief. For much of the history of this rivalry that dates back to November of 1900 the instate opponents dubbed this the Governor’s Trophy game but that changed in 1962. Beginning with the 1962 match up the name of the annual meeting between the two universities was changed from the Governor’s Trophy to the Apple Cup in recognition of the apple orchids and apples that the state of Washington is so well known for.
Although the name change officially occurred in 1962 when college football historians discuss the record these two schools have against one another in the Apple Cup they generally count wins and losses all the way back to the first meeting on November 30, 1900 that ended in a 5-5 tie (a very bizarre final score by modern standards). Over the 102 meetings these programs have had on the grid iron the University of Washington leads the overall series by a count of 65-31-6.