In a momentous occasion on Friday afternoon, Washington formally entered the esteemed ranks of the Big Ten, accompanied by Oregon. The Huskies left their rival, Oregon State, behind as the Beavers are among the few Pac-12 teams expected to remain in the conference amidst this latest round of realignment. Nevertheless, Washington assured in its official statement that it remains dedicated to perpetuating the Apple Cup tradition in all sporting events going forward, notably in football. An excerpt from UW’s proclamation, along with a quote from President Ana Marie Cauce, provides insight:
“The UW is deeply commit to upholding the storied tradition of the Apple Cup rivalry with Washington State University in all athletic pursuits, including football.
“We take immense pride in our illustrious history with the Pac-12 and have tirelessly strived for over a year to find a viable path that would keep the conference intact. My Pac-12 colleagues have my utmost admiration and respect. However, the Big Ten offers unparalleled opportunities and stability. Despite this move, we remain fully devoted to the Apple Cup and will fiercely compete with WSU across all sports.”
As for Washington State’s intentions regarding the future of the Apple Cup, it remains uncertain. Numerous precedents exist where rivals continued to clash even after being separate by conferences. Prominent examples in college football are Clemson-South Carolina and Florida State-Florida. Historically, Oklahoma and Texas faced off annually despite not being in the same conference.
Yet, there are instances where rivalries were extinguish due to conference realignment. The Bedlam series between the Sooners and Oklahoma State is not expect to continue beyond 2023. Similarly, Texas-Texas A&M’s rivalry came to an end when the Aggies departed for the SEC more than a decade ago.
Meanwhile, Oregon has declared its firm commitment to maintaining its rivalry series with Oregon State.
Dating back to 1900, the inaugural encounter between Washington and Washington State ended in a 5-5 tie. The Huskies hold an impressive all-time lead of 75-33-6 in the series.