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Washington State wins Boeing Apple Cup Series in 2020-21

Baseball’s series win last weekend sealed the deal, but women’s basketball contributed the most.

Smiles all around for the WSU women’s basketball team
WSU women’s basketball, which swept the UW Huskies, was the driving force between the Apple Cup Series win.
Jack Ellis/CougCenter

Bill Moos famously created a spot in the Cougar Football Complex to put the Apple Cup when WSU secures a football victory over Washington, but that’s been sitting vacant since the fall of 2013, so I guess we can settle for this: The Washington State Cougars are the Boeing Apple Cup Series champs for 2020-2021, clinching a win after the baseball team took two of three from the Huskies last weekend in Pullman.

What is the Boeing Apple Cup Series, you say? Glad you asked!

This is something that was created a few years ago when Boeing entered into a sponsorship with the schools. For 100 years, the Apple Cup was a singular trophy that was secured by the team that won the football game between the two schools (and, thus, I used to make fun of people who called the basketball/volleyball/soccer/etc. game the “Apple Cup”). But, as brands tend to do, Boeing wanted its name all over all kinds of events, so the schools created a contest for another “Apple Cup” that involved all the sports sponsored by both schools.

This is the scoring system they use:

Why, you might ask, does the losing team get points? No idea! They just do, ok?

At first glance, it appears football holds the key to this thing, but that’s actually not really true — and not just because the game wasn’t played this year. Sweeps in basketball, soccer, volleyball, or baseball actually are worth more than a football win, and that’s exactly how WSU secured the trophy this year. Via my good friend Kyle Sherwood, who did the math on this year’s contest:

Boeing Apple Cup Series 2020-2021

Sport WSU UW
Sport WSU UW
Football 0 0
Volleyball 0 0
Men's basketball 45 45
Women's basketball 60 30
Women's soccer 10 20
Baseball 50 40
Rowing 5 10
Tennis 10 20
Men's T&F 5 10
Women's T&F 5 10
Kyle Sherwood

If this ever becomes a thing that fans really care about, Jack Husky from Auburn surely will want to put an asterisk on it, given that the football game wasn’t contested because of a COVID outbreak on WSU’s team, nor was volleyball. Given that we now have an annual tradition of losing the football game and UW volleyball was very good (while the Cougs were also very good this year, making to the NCAAs, the Huskies won the conference and reached the Final Four), it’s entirely possible that Washington could have run away with this thing.

But they didn’t! Thanks to Charlisse Leger-Walker and the rest of the women’s basketball team sweeping the Huskies — with an assist from a pair of COVID cancellations — WSU wins the very serious and not at all arbitrarily made up contest for the first time, matching UW’s series win in 2018-2019. (Last year’s series was declared a no contest after COVID wiped out the spring sports season.)

Suck it, Huskies!


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