The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Huskies-Cougs, rivals to the very bitter end

UW never had WSU’s best interest
WSU defensive back Derrick Langford Jr. jumps over UW wide receiver Ja’Lynn Polk during the Apple Cup, Nov. 26.

Whether you attend University of Washington or go to WSU, you know about the historic rivalry of the “Apple Cup” and the bragging rights it brings. But, the rivalry between the two schools runs far deeper than pure athletic competition against in-state foes. For over a century, there have been actions taken by UW that make the rivalry far more personal.

When WSU was first founded, it was the Washington Agricultural College of School and Science, and it was not much more than a farm school. Efforts in 1901 and 1903 to expand the college were opposed by pushback from people who were afraid another state university would undermine UW. From the very beginning, UW had an innate desire to see WSU fail or stay no more than an agricultural college. 

As Enoch A. Bryan became president of WSU (then Washington State College), he fought diligently to expand the teaching of liberal arts on campus, and he succeeded. 

But it was not all perfect. Until 2015, WSU did not have its own medical school. UW bragged about its status as a respected primary medical school in an attempt to block the Cougs from building a medical school in Spokane. Luckily, 65 sponsors in the House and a near-unanimous decision in the Senate passed legislation to allow WSU to move forward with the medical school, according to the Seattle Times.

Amending a near century-long provision that allowed UW to be the only medical school in the state, WSU got past several hurdles brought by UW lobbyists. 

Now, the rivalry is at its ugliest. The collapse of the Pac-12 has shown the true colors of UW once again. As WSU and OSU fight for control of the Pac-12 finances with the other 10 schools clearly departing, UW is one of the schools fighting the hardest to do anything in its power to not be on the losing end, despite completely screwing over WSU with their departure from the Pac-12 as they left them out to dry when they, and other schools, could have stayed without missing out on much financially.

The lawsuit, at its core, is WSU and OSU suing for breach of by-laws, claiming the departing 10 members should lose their board spots after announcing their departure from the Pac-12. Part of the argument is that they never formally announced that departure. However, despite clear indidications, as well as announcing their next season’s football schedule with another Conference logo on it and playing in that Conference, but I digress. 

Obviously, the Cougs and Beavs have a claim for their desire to have the 10 departing schools off the board of controlling Pac-12 assets and decisions, as the schools have an obvious conflict of interest in that they’re joining rival conferences that compete with the Pac-12 over employees, media rights agreements and other valuable resources, according to the two schools

In their attempt to save face, UW is seemingly throwing anything at the wall trying to get something to stick in their attempt to undermine WSU’s lawsuit.

All that history, but the athletics rivalry is far more entertaining. Part of what makes the “Apple Cup” so special is that the Huskies are usually the better team. They admittedly have dominated the all-time records in just about every single sport and often win in blowout fashion. But that makes the wins for the Cougs that much better. The “Apple Cup” has become one of the best rivalries in college athletics, one that encapsulates the state every year despite the large margin in team success. 

Since 1900, the two teams have met 114 times in football, with UW leading the series 75-33-6. But in 2021, the Cougs snapped a seven-game losing streak in their huge 40-13 win in Seattle. Other big wins for the Cougs include their 2012 31-28 OT win in Pullman, the time they upset No. 5 UW in 1992 by a final score of 42-21 and a 41-35 win over No. 17 UW in 1997.

As for men’s basketball, UW leads 186-110, but since 2020 the Cougs have won six out of the eight contests. At one time, WSU had a seven-game winning streak against the Huskies and experience spurts of beating up on the Huskies, with their current stretch looking strong going into 2023–24. 

In volleyball, since 2000, the Cougs have just 10 wins to 32 losses. But, they are 6-2 in their last eight matchups and Jen Greeny has really picked up the Cougs program status since becoming head coach. The Cougs rank No. 11 in the country in 2023 and the Huskies remain unranked. This season, WSU already took down UW once and will look to do so again in Seattle Nov. 24.

Over to baseball, the Cougs have gone 29-54 since 2000, with their best winning streak coming during a three-game stretch from 2015–16. UW won two of three in 2023 in Pullman, outscoring the Cougs 15-6 in the three-game set. 

As for women’s basketball, only one of the two teams are the defending Pac-12 Champions. That’s right, it’s the Cougs. However, since 2000, has gone 12-36 against their rivals, despite losing 28 straight from Febuary 2000 to January 2013. Since December 2018, WSU has gone 8-2 against the Huskies, utterly dominating recently.

To cap things off, in one of the only sports that history favors the Cougs, since Oct. 1989, WSU is 15-12-7 against the Huskies in women’s soccer. While UW won their 2023 matchup, the Cougs had a stretch from 2004–2019 without a loss against their rivals.

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About the Contributors
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.
COLE QUINN, Evergreen Sports Photographer
Cole Quinn is a photographer and columnist for the Daily Evergreen. Cole primarily shoots sports for the Daily Evergreen and writes album reviews in his spare time. Cole is a junior broadcast production major and sports communication minor from Snoqualmie, Washington. Cole started working for the Evergreen in the fall of 2020 as a photographer. Cole was the Photo Editor during his sophomore year and Deputy Photo Editor for the fall 2022 semester.