Jan. 19, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. - Following a 2006 schedule in which the Cougars played 12 straight weeks, Washington State University's 2007 football schedule will feature a bye week and see the Cougars play the Apple Cup Thanksgiving weekend, announced WSU Director of Athletics Jim Sterk and Bill Doba, WSU's head football coach.
WSU previously released its 2007 schedule which had the Cougars completing their 12-game slate without the benefit of a bye. This week the Pacific-10 Conference approved the revision of several schedules, resulting in the movement of all traditional conference rivalries to post-Thanksgiving dates.
The Cougars will now face the Washington Huskies in the 100th playing of the Apple Cup Nov. 24 in Seattle. It marks the first time since the 1978 season that the game has been played following Thanksgiving. The Oregon State game moves to Nov. 17 in Pullman and WSU will now have an open date Oct. 20.
"I'm happy to have a bye this season," said Doba. "If I had a choice though, I would prefer to move the season ahead one week, play a full schedule along with the bye, and still be finished before Thanksgiving."
Sterk echoed Doba's sentiments about needing a bye week but preferring the season be completed prior to Thanksgiving. "After this past season and following senior exit interviews, there were three key reasons we needed to have a bye in the schedule," said Sterk. "The students use that week to catch up academically, and then mentally and physically that week is a much-needed break.
"We won't be playing the 2008 Apple Cup in Pullman Thanksgiving weekend," Sterk added. "The 2008 calendar will allow the season to start Aug. 30 and play the Apple Cup the Saturday before Thanksgiving."
The Cougars first home game will be played in Seattle against San Diego State in the 2007 Cougar Gridiron Classic, Sept. 8. WSU then faces border rival Idaho the following week, Sept. 15, in Pullman. Also journeying to Pullman this year will be Pacific-10 Conference foes Arizona State Oct. 6, UCLA Oct. 27, Stanford Nov. 10 and Oregon State Nov. 17. The Cougar-Sun Devils match-up will be WSU's Homecoming game, while the battle with Stanford will be Dads' Day on the Pullman campus.
WSU's opening road game will be Sept. 1 at Wisconsin. The game marks only the second meeting between the two teams, with the Badgers claiming a 35-26 victory in Madison during the 1976 season. Other road games for the Cougars will be the conference opener at USC Sept. 22, at Arizona Sept. 29, at Oregon Oct. 13, at California Nov. 3 and the annual Apple Cup battle at Washington Nov. 24.
The Cougars have not announced any game times for the 2007 season, pending television selections in the fall. WSU's 2008 schedule has not been finalized and will be released at a later date.