COUGARS • UPDATED: 12:25 P.M.
Some big news coming out of the bye week in Pullman. The Cougars will not be playing UNLV at Qwest Field next year as previously announced. Nope, instead Washington State will face Oregon State at the Seahawks' home on Oct. 22. A pretty big upgrade for the Seattle-area fans. We have more on the link, so read on.
• Washington State played at Qwest Field for eight consecutive years beginning in 2002, when it defeated Nevada 31-7. But during those years, the Cougars never played a Pac-10 game there. That will change. As you may remember, the contract with First & Goal ran out after the 2009 season and then athletic director Jim Sterk attempted to work out an agreement with Washington to play the Apple Cup at the site each season. When that deal fell apart, there was no Qwest game this season. However, before Sterk left for San Diego State, he announced a renewal for one year, with UNLV the opponent. Now fast forward to Bill Moos' takeover of the department. He made it clear from the beginning he would like to see a higher profile game in Seattle, and he set his sights on Oregon State and Oregon. Well, he's got Oregon State for 2011. Other than that, until the Pac-10 figures out its schedules and it's possible to see if the field is available, the Cougars and the Oregon schools will have to wait and see. UPDATE: Just wanted to make this clear. WSU will be hosting the games at Qwest and is hopeful of hosting Oregon at the facility in 2012. ... Remember, UW will be playing there, starting with next year's Apple Cup, while Husky Stadium is being rebuilt. Today's news also means the UNLV game Sept. 10 will be Pullman. ... Here's some comments from Moos: “Since arriving at Washington State, it has been my intent to bring a conference game to Qwest Field each year, preferably in October and with one of the Oregon schools. I am thrilled that the recently announced 2011 Pac-12 schedule was able to accommodate my wishes. Hopefully, ensuing schedules will provide the same opportunity.” ... “Ideally we will fill Qwest Field with a sea of crimson but if not, the proximity to Corvallis and the Oregon State fan base should lend itself to a full venue. This would greatly benefit Cougar athletics in regards to scholarship opportunities and facility enhancements.”
• That's all for now. We'll be back as events warrant. Until then ...