It’s appearing very likely that the Apple Cup will be played between two top 25 teams for the second straight year. Only now, it’s the Washington State Cougars who are in line to be the highest-ranked team in the annual clash.
WSU lead-frogged the rival Washington Huskies in the Associated Press poll released Sunday after the Cougars beat Utah 33-25 on Saturday and the Huskies lost their second game of the season, 30-22 to Stanford. The Cougars (9-2 overall, 6-2 Pac-12) moved up to No. 15 from No. 19 last week, while the Huskies (8-2, 5-2) fell from No. 9 to No. 16.
Washington still has the advantage over Washington State in the Coaches’ Poll, however, holding the No. 15 spot with WSU at No. 16.
The 2016 Apple Cup featured a No. 6 UW team beating a No. 23 WSU team in Pullman with the Pac-12 North championship on the line. The 2017 version will be played Nov. 25 at Husky Stadium, and the North title could once again be up for grabs – though the Cougars, Huskies and Stanford all still have a shot at coming away with the division at this point.
Washington State is in the driver’s seat, as it owns a tiebreaker over the No. 20 Cardinal (7-3, 6-2) and would clinch the North title with a win in the Apple Cup after a bye next week. Washington would need to beat both Utah next week and WSU in the Apple Cup, plus see Stanford lose to Cal next Saturday, to earn a spot in its second straight Pac-12 championship game.
There is also the chance of the three teams ending up in a tie – if Washington loses to Utah, Stanford loses to Cal, and Washington beats WSU in the Apple Cup. In that case, the tiebreaker would be the teams’ records specifically in Pac-12 North games – not just Pac-12 – and it would be Washington that would go on to the Pac-12 championship game as it would own a 4-1 record in those games compared to 3-2 records for WSU and Stanford.
You can find the complete AP and Coaches’ polls at this link.