COVID-19 might end up disrupting multiple long-running rivalry series this year. The Pac-12 announced tonight that the Apple Cup, played annually between Washington State and Washington, will indeed be canceled.
It was set for Black Friday at 10:30 PM Eastern time on ESPN.
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) November 22, 2020
Washington State is in the middle of a COVID-19 outbreak. Their game this weekend against Stanford was canceled, and it’s possible that they have games beyond the Apple Cup canceled as well. This is obviously very unfortunate on many levels more important than football, but it is a shame that this rivalry will miss a year.
The last time that happened was in 1944 during World War 2. (The teams played twice in 1945.)
The Huskies, meanwhile, are not in the middle of a COVID outbreak, and they’re 2-0 on the season after hammering Arizona this weekend. The odds of a Pac-12 team making the CFP are limited, but Washington still certainly wants to play games, and according to Bruce Feldman they’re looking at adding a game that could be very meaningful for the college landscape.
Am hearing that Washington is trying to schedule BYU for this week.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 22, 2020
That would be huge for BYU, moreso than even Washington. BYU is currently an unbeaten 9-0, and sitting 8th in the AP poll. They’re a very viable contender for a NY6 bowl game, and theoretically they could still end up in the Playoff as well, but they’re going to need a lot of help.
They currently only have San Diego State remaining on the schedule, set for December 12th. Adding a high-major opponent in Washington would be a very big opportunity, and it could also prove to be a very fun game for neutral fans, as well.
Losing the Apple Cup sucks, but adding BYU-Washington would at least be an appealing replacement.
UPDATE: Or, maybe not, re: BYU.
SOURCES: #BYU turned down the opportunity to play #Washington this coming weekend. UDub had reached out yesterday but was told BYU wanted to wait until after the CFP rankings Tuesday to gauge their place. "It's off the table."
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 23, 2020