If the 103rd Apple Cup were played on paper, and it was up to high school athletic administrators, coaches, a couple of journalists and even a retired college professor to decide, well … let's just say that most folks are coloring this game purple.
In nothing more than a fun, unofficial survey of 18 athletic-minded folks from the state of Washington plus one fellow from Oregon, the Washington Huskies were picked by 13 of them to defeat the Washington State Cougars Saturday at Martin Stadium in Pullman.
A quick calculation reveals an average score of 26-17 by those Dawg pickers who gave a prediction.
Some offered more than a score.
"I understand that there are those who may have chosen to attend WSU for a variety of reasons such as their involvement with the world lentil festival, the creation of cougar gold cheese, or a questionable interest in "cow science," and I certainly don't hold that against them," said Joe Clark, head cross country coach at Lakes High School in Lakewood and a University of Washington alumnus. "After all, some will go on to an institute of higher education, some will join the military, and others a trade school. For the rest, having something to occupy their time for the next five-to-eight years is a good thing and so WSU serves a purpose. I predict that the UW will win, somewhere in the range of 28-17."
Don't worry, Cougar fans. Oscar Soule, a retired professor from The Evergreen State College who didn't attend either UW or WSU, likes what he sees from the Cougars in this matchup.
Soule, a huge Seattle Mariners supporter once named that team's "fan of the year," isn't blinded by the Huskies' success in recent weeks. He's picking the Cougars by a score of 34-17.
"UW has trouble with good quarterbacks and their defensive line play is spotty," Soule said. "UW will not be able to stop WSU in short yardage situations while their offense will not do enough."
There you have it.
Here are the predictions and comments from Apple Cup survey participants:
Tom Bainter, football coach, Bothell High School (Western Washington '90): "UW 34, WSU 24. Locker will lead UW to an Apple Cup victory and into a bowl game! Go Huskies!"
Steve Bridge, athletic director, Elma High School: "Dawgs 24, Cougs 10. Being a Husky fan my entire life, I have so many great memories from the Apple Cup."
Scott Chamberlain, athletic director, Chehalis High School (Central Washington '93): "Washington Huskies. Strong UW defense vs. an above average WSU offense."
Joe Clark, cross country coach, Lakes High School: "I graduated from that fine institute of higher learning, the University of Washington, as did my daughter and son-in-law. Therefore, I am not just a fan but an alumnus. I understand that there are those who may have chosen to attend WSU for a variety of reasons such as their involvement with the world lentil festival, the creation of cougar gold cheese, or a questionable interest in "cow science," and I certainly don't hold that against them. After all, some will go on to an institute of higher education, some will join the military, and others a trade school. For the rest, having something to occupy their time for the next five-to-eight years is a good thing and so WSU serves a purpose. I predict that the UW will win, somewhere in the range of 28-17."
Bill Daly, athletic director, Sunnyside High School (former UW punter, UW '83): "UW all the way. 28-17 Dawgs."
Kirsten Daniels, athletic director, Wishkah Valley School (WSU '84): "Cougs! Because I'll be there!"
James Day, Sport Editor, Statesman Journal, Salem, Ore.: "The Huskies might wind up in the Holiday Bowl if they win this game and finish 6-6. How weird is that? The high is projected to be 27 degrees. Will either team score that many points? Huskies are averaging 20.9, Cougs 18.8. Hmm. Huskies win 21-17."
Chris Hill, football, basketball and baseball coach at Manson High School (WSU '07): "WSU 21, UW 13. Because I always pick Wazzu in the Apple Cup! And I believe the Cougar players think a win will (save) Wulff's job. Most of all, I hope Wazzu wins!"
Joe Keller, athletic director, Lakes High School (WSU '80): "Cougs all the way."
Randy Lemiere, athletic director, Three Rivers Christian in Kelso (Central Washington '76): "Dawgs 24, Cougs 20. Dawgs continue their goal of getting back into the national scene."
Russ Leslie, athletic director, Bethel High School: "With a possible bowl game at stake, I think the Dawgs will win. They have a few more who can make game-breaker plays. Accurate prediction: A close, great game between two mediocre teams who are improving."
Ny'Ika Long, football coach, Franklin High School (Mississippi Valley State '95): "The Dawgs by the dub (20). Jake Locker, Nate Williams, (Alameda) Ta'amu and Everette Thompson were all kids who were on our schedule when I was coaching at Lindbergh and U-Dub coaches have been way more consistent in recruiting my kids at Franklin, so the Dub by the Dub."
Aaron Maul, football coach, Bishop Blanchet High School (Central Washington '98): "24-17 UW. Weather conditions will not do the Huskies any favors. However, Coach Sark and his staff along with Jake Locker will be the difference."
Craig Olson, athletic director, Mercer Island High School: "Cougs by three."
Brian Smith, head football coach, Wenatchee Valley Venom (Boise State '96): "I predict the UW by seven, 21-14. UW is fighting for a bowl bid."
Oscar Soule, retired Evergreen State College professor (Colorado College '62): "WSU 34, UW 17. UW has trouble with good quarterbacks and their defensive line play is spotty. UW will not be able to stop WSU in short yardage situations while their offense will not do enough."
Beth Tugaw, athletic director, Hockinson High School (Western Washington '84): "I have to say the Huskies take this one."
Ben Zimmerman, Sports Editor, Longview Daily News (Whitman College): "Washington 31, Washington State 21. Two weeks is too long of a break. Huskies have momentum - or what passes for it."
Live chat Saturday: Join UDubSports.com publisher Ron Newberry for a live chat during the Apple Cup Saturday. Talk about the game, the stars, recruiting and what's next for the Huskies.