The Washington State Cougars have had a surprise run in 2015, at least when considering the sour note on which the season started. Headed into the final conference game against Washington in the Apple Cup, WSU finds itself ranked No. 20. That begs the question: How have the Cougs fared when playing UW as a squad ranked in the AP Top 25?
Interesting you asked. Let's dig into some old records.
1936: A No. 20 WSU squad headed to Seattle and NOPE DON'T CARE. Interesting side note, however: WSU was ranked No. 14 in its previous game, a 32-7 win at UCLA. Polls are weird.
1942: No. 14 Washington State took on the Huskies in Seattle and TOTALLY DID NOT LOSE. Or win. Or score. It was a 0-0 tie, alright.
1951: Another Apple Cup and this time THE No. 17 COUGS WON 27-25 BOOM SUCK IT HUSKIES. The national media was so unimpressed with the win (because it was over UW obviously) that WSU fell to No. 18 in the final AP poll. Fun fact: Wazzu also took down Oregon and Oregon State that season to take home the Pacific Northwest Championship ® (we had to pay Rick Neuheisel a lot of money to publish that line, totally worth it).
1972: Jim Sweeney's No. 20 Cougs welcomed the No. 17 Huskies to Spokane and BEAT 'EM DOWN, 27-10. What ranking are the Cougs this week? No. 20. That's a good omen, if you ask me (shut up about that 1936 game).
1988: The unranked Huskies came to Pullman in hopes of an upset of the No. 19 WSU Cougars and CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR DAWGS, COUGS WIN 32-31. The win was WSU's fourth straight to end the regular season. You know what other team is ranked and going for its fourth-straight victory? 2015 Wazzu. Omens, omens everywhere.
1997: No. 11 Washington State took on No. 17 Washington and SMACKED 'EM AROUND 41-35 TO CLINCH A TRIP TO THE FRIGGIN' ROSE BOWL. GO COUGS. LOL LOOK AT THESE HUSKY BROS TRY TO TACKLE CHRIS JACKSON.
AND YEP SURELY THAT IS DEFINITELY THE LAST APPLE CUP IN WHICH THE COUGS WERE RANKED THERE WAS DEFINITELY NOT A STRETCH IN THE EARLY 2000s WHERE IT MAY HAVE HAPPENED. CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IS THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1997 YOU GUYS MAN IT'S BEEN SO LONG. GO COUGS BEAT THE HUSKIES.