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BREAKING: Football schedule announced, Apple Cup now Thanskgiving weekend

WSU just announced its 2009 football schedule, and probably the most significant development is the decision to once again move the Apple Cup, which is in Seattle this year, to Thanksgiving weekend in order to avoid playing 12 consecutive weeks.

Here it is for you:

Date Opponent
(bold = home, * = TV)
Sept. 5 Stanford Could be moved to Thursday, Sept. 3
Sept. 12 Hawaii In Seattle
Sept. 19 Southern Methodist June Jones brings passing attack to Pullman
Sept. 26 USC At least we don't have to worry about Sanchez
Oct. 3
Oregon Scariest team in the Pac-10 not named USC
Oct. 10
Arizona State Only home game in nearly two calendar months
Oct. 24
California Let's hope Best is injured. Not that we wishing it.
Oct. 31 Notre Dame Night game in San Antonio
Nov. 7 Arizona Three straight road games? Ugh.
Nov. 14 UCLA Bruins should be better. But that won't be hard.
Nov. 21 Oregon State How many students will stay?
Nov. 28 Washington Five out of six has a nice ring to it, no?

My quick thoughts:

  • The Cougs really should start 2-1 next year, but that middle of the schedule stretch of five road games in six is absolutely brutal and could be a season killer. The Trojans will always be great as long as Pete Carroll is there, Oregon could challenge them for the conference title, ASU should rebound, Cal will be good if it can find a decent QB, Notre Dame is on the rise. That would be a tough enough stretch with some of them at home, but only one of those games at home? That's sinister -- even if the ND game is at a "neutral" site.
  • I really don't mind the Apple Cup being Thanksgiving weekend when it's in Seattle. Students siimply don't make up the percentage of the overall crowd at UW that WSU students do, so it's really not that big of a deal, especially given the number of UW students who live in the Seattle area year-round.
  • The downside, of course, is that the home game against the Beavers will now be at the beginning of Thanksgiving break. Students typically will stick around an extra day for the Apple Cup; will they do the same for OSU? I suppose it will depend largely on how the season is going.
  • Grippi says the season opener probably will be moved to Thursday, Sept. 3, to avoid the Labor Day weekend. Makes sense to me, since the game will be on TV somewhere in that instance.
  • Can I just say SMU scares the hell out of me? SMU was positively terrible this past year, but there's just something about that Jones offense that should worry just about any coach. The scary thing is that we'll be making a return trip in 2010, which could be a tough road game by then.