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November 20, 2008
by Ryan Hudson
This weekend not only features the latest Game of the Month - Nay, Year - Nay, Century, but it's also the beginning of those big rivalry games that have been in place for 100 years and are part of what makes college football so great: Yale-Harvard ("The Game"); Michigan-Ohio State; BYU-Utah ("The Holy War"); Citadel-Florida (huh?).
Another traditional rivalry this Saturday is the Apple Cup, a game between Washington and Washington State. It was first played in 1900 and has since featured such memorable contests as the the 1997 come-from-behind Cougars win over the Huskies in Seattle, which gave WSU a Pac-10 co-Championship and a Rose Bowl berth, and a stunning 2002 triple-overtime Huskies' win over the 3rd-ranked Cougars. The 2008 Apple Cup is sure to leave its mark in this storied tradition as well, but only because the two teams are so awful.
Washington enters Saturday's game 0-10; Washington State is 1-10, with their one win coming against Portland St., a 3-7 Division I-AA (FCS) team. This could in fact be one of the worst college football match ups ever.
Consider that there are 119 major college football schools and then consider these national rankings:
* Total offense: Washington (117), Washington State (118).
* Scoring offense: Washington (117), Washington State (118).
* Total defense: Washington (110), Washington State (112).
* Scoring defense: Washington (116), Washington State (118).
For the record, Washington is favored by 7 1/2 points, and the over/under is set at "Please, make this game stop."
Will this year's game tarnish the long history of a great rivalry? After all, it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch.