In a sign of “things will hopefully be back to normal-ish this fall”, the Washington State Cougars will have a full slate of conference games to play, not just their divisional foes plus an extra team in the South as they did in 2020. Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News reported today on every team’s opponents for the upcoming season; the conference is set to release the dates later this month. Despite the odd scheduling of last season, everything is staying on rotation so, unfortunately, it will mean WSU misses a home Apple Cup game and never get it back.
Home opponents: Oregon State Beavers, Stanford Cardinal, USC Trojans, Arizona Wildcats, BYU Cougars, Portland State Vikings, Utah State Aggies.
Road opponents: Washington Huskies, Oregon Ducks, Utah Utes, Arizona State Sun Devils, Cal Golden Bears
Off the top, one of the oddities of last season (the short notice road game against Utah) means the Cougs will have traveled to Salt Lake City three years running. Last season’s game against the Utes should’ve been in Pullman to keep the rotation straightened out but alas, the Cougs will have to make the trip to the Beehive State again.
Everything else looks like it should with the typical odd year road game rotation that’s more like running with large, horned farm animals in Pamplona than a give and take of easy and hard games. The home conference rotation gets a boost with USC and the Cougs actually play the other two FBS teams from Utah at home, BYU and Utah State. The game against the Cougars is the long awaited and several times delayed return trip for Mike Leach’s debut game in 2012 in Provo while the Utah State game is the back-end of a home-and-home which had to be cancelled last year. No word on whether the schools have rescheduled the trip to Logan.
Because of the scheduling quirk with BYU (October 23rd), expect that tilt against USC to come in Week Three since they’re the only other team on WSU’s schedule without a game for September 18th. The Cougs open the season with the Aggies (September 4th) and Vikings (September 11th) on consecutive weekends.