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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

January 18, 2007 at 11:24 PM

Apple Cup moved back a week

Here’s a story that will be running in our paper on Friday about the Apple Cup moving back a week:
For the first time since 1978, the Apple Cup traditional football game between Washington and Washington State will be moved to Thanksgiving weekend this year, creating a much-sought bye in the regular-season schedules for both schools.
The Pacific-10 office is expected to announce shortly the revised scheduling, which increasingly features traditional games backed up to Thanksgiving weekend or the first weekend of December.
NCAA schedules now dictate a start on Labor Day weekend as well as the allowance of 12 regular-season games. For both Washington and Washington State, it created a succession of 12 straight games without a bye in 2006, considered a difficult run because of injuries and fatigue.
This year, the Cougars will meet Washington at Husky Stadium Nov. 24, and the former Apple Cup Saturday, Nov. 17, will feature WSU hosting Oregon State �” moved from Oct. 20 and creating a bye for the Cougars after seven games.
Washington, meanwhile, will take advantage of the Apple Cup change to move its home game against Cal from Oct. 6 to Nov. 17, creating a bye for the Huskies after five games and breaking up a schedule that figures to rank as among the toughest in the nation. Moving the Cal game will give the Huskies a bye in between a home game with USC and a road game at Arizona State.
In November, Washington athletic director Todd Turner expressed a desire to build a bye into the UW schedule saying, “It’s almost unfair to expect them to play 12 consecutive weeks. Our offensive line has played every snap for 12 weeks and you can see the lack of energy.
“It’s a tough game, so we have to do something about that, and if it means moving games later in the season or shuffling things around, it’s in the best interest of our kids to do something like that.”
The move is not considered permanent, because Apple Cup games in Pullman on Thanksgiving weekend would be played with a greatly diminished WSU student following, not a feasible prospect for WSU officials.
But the calendar in 2008 includes an extra weekend between the start of the season and Thanksgiving weekend, so the Cougars and Huskies could have an opening in the schedule. UW’s current 2008 schedule, however, does not include a bye.
When the game was played Thanksgiving weekend in 1978, the schools were working through the first year of the newly expanded conference from eight teams to the Pac-10.
The game was played on Thanksgiving weekend in 1973, in 1967, and in 1963, when it was postponed a week after the Nov. 22 assassination of President Kennedy. There were also several pre-World War II occasions when it was played after Thanksgiving.

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