Battle of the Palouse

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Battle of the Palouse
University of Idaho Vandals logo.svg Washington State COUGARS logo.gif
Idaho Vandals Washington State Cougars

Total meetings 90
Series record WSU leads 71–16–3
First meeting November 17, 1894
120 years ago
WSU 10, Idaho 0
Last meeting September 21, 2013
WSU 42, Idaho 0
Next meeting 2016 in Pullman
Longest win streak WSU, 21 (1928–1949)
Longest unbeaten streak WSU, 27 (1926–1953)
Current win streak WSU, 8 (2001–present)
Palouse is located in United States
Palouse
Palouse
Magnify-clip.png
Location in the United States

The Battle of the Palouse is an American college football rivalry between the Vandals of the University of Idaho and Cougars of Washington State University. The two land-grant universities are less than eight miles (13 km) apart on the rural Palouse; Idaho's campus in Moscow is directly on the IdahoWashington border, and Washington State's campus directly west in Pullman, linked by Washington State Route 270 and the Bill Chipman Palouse Trail.

Series history[edit]

The first game was played 120 years ago in November 1894 and resulted in a win for Washington State. The Vandals' first-ever forward pass was attempted against the Cougars in 1907: it was completed for a touchdown from a drop-kick formation in the fourth quarter and led to a 5–4 victory.[1] Washington State has dominated the local rivalry, holding a 71–16–3 (.806) lead. The record since 1926 is even more dominant, with a 56–5–2 (.905) advantage for the Cougars. The longest winning streak for Idaho was three games (192325), and has only five victories since that three-peat (1954, 1964, 1965, 1999, & 2000) and two ties (1927, 1950) to offset the 56 losses.

The games were skipped in 1969 and 1971, unfortunate for Idaho as the 1971 Vandals posted one of the best records (8–3) in school history, while WSU was 4–7. The rivalry became increasingly one-sided as WSU dominated in the 1970s (except for 1974) and the original series ended, following the 1978 game.[2] From 1979 to 1997, the game was played just twice (1982, 1989) until the 10-year renewal from 1998–2007. Since their last wins in 1999 and 2000, Idaho has been physically outmatched in most of the seven games; the game has only been played once since 2007, in 2013.

As two schools are in close proximity, from 1938 to 1968 there was a tradition called The Loser's Walk, where during the week following the game students of the losing school would walk from their own campus to the winners' campus, then receive rides back home from the winning side. This has frequently been misreported as students walking back to their own campus immediately following the game. In 1954, the walk made national news when about 2,000 students from Washington State College made the trek east from Pullman to Moscow after the Cougars lost to Idaho for the first time in 29 years.[3][4][5][6]

In a span of less than five months from November 1969 to April 1970, both schools' aged wooden stadiums (Idaho's Neale Stadium and WSU's Rogers Field) burned down due to suspected arson. The WSU–Idaho game in 1970 was dubbed the Displaced Bowl, which was held in Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane on September 19. The Cougars won the game (their only win that season), as well as the next ten against the Vandals.[7] The 1970 game was the first in the rivalry played on AstroTurf, which was new to Joe Albi that season.

In 1978 the NCAA split Division I football in two: I-A (now FBS) and I-AA (now FCS). Washington State was in Division I-A as part of the Pac-10 Conference and Idaho downgraded to I-AA as part of the Big Sky Conference, whose other football members moved up from Division II. In the late 1970s, I-A football programs were allowed 50% more scholarships and twice as many assistant coaches as I-AA teams.[2] During the years they were in different divisions, the schools met only twice (1982 in Spokane and 1989 in Pullman). In 1996, Idaho moved back up to Division I-A in the Big West Conference, and Idaho and WSU rekindled their century-old rivalry. Since the rivalry was reinstated in 1998, every game has been played at Martin Stadium in Pullman, except for the matchup in 2003, which was played at Seattle's Seahawks Stadium. The game played on the Idaho side of the border was in 1966, a come-from-behind 14–7 Cougar victory on a very muddy field to prevent a Vandal three-peat.[8][9]

Future of rivalry[edit]

After ten years of the renewed rivalry, Vandal head coach Robb Akey, previously WSU's defensive coordinator, said in 2008 that he preferred the game not be played every year, instead saying he would prefer it as a "once-in-a-while thing."[10] The most recent meeting was played in Akey's first season in 2007, and he was fired in October 2012.[11] A game occurred on September 21, 2013 for a one-year revival,[12] but the future of the series under new Vandal head coach Paul Petrino is unclear.

Game results[edit]

1890

No
game
1891

No
game
1892

No
game
1893

No
game
1894
WSU
10–0
Moscow
1895
WSU*
10–4
Pullman
1896

No
game
1897

No
game
1898

No
game
1899
WSU*
11–0
Pullman
1900

No
game
1901
UI*
5–0
Moscow
1902
WSU*
17–0
Pullman
1903
UI*
32–0
Moscow
1904
UI
5–0
Pullman
1905
UI*
5–0
Moscow
1906
WSU*
10–0
Pullman
1907
UI*
5–4
Moscow
1908
Tie
4–4
Pullman
1909
WSU
18–0
Moscow
1910
UI
9–5
Pullman
1911
WSU
17–0
Moscow
1912
UI
13–0
Pullman
1913
UI*
3–0
Moscow
1914
WSU*
3–0
Pullman
1915
WSU
41–0
Moscow
1916
WSU*
31–0
Pullman
1917
WSU
19–0
Moscow
1918

No
game
1919
WSU*
37–0
Pullman
1920
WSU
14–7
Moscow
1921
WSU*
20–3
Pullman
1922
WSU
18–19
Moscow
1923
UI
14–0
Pullman
1924
UI*
19–3
Moscow
1925
UI
7–6
Pullman
1926
WSU
6–0
Moscow
1927
Tie
7–7
Pullman
1928
WSU
26–0
Moscow
1929
WSU*
41–7
Pullman
1930
WSU
33–7
Moscow
1931
WSU*
9–8
Pullman
1932
WSU*
12–0
Pullman
1933
WSU
14–6
Moscow
1934
WSU*
19–0
Pullman
1935
WSU
6–0
Moscow
1936
WSU
14–0
Moscow
1937
WSU*
13–0
Pullman
1938
WSU
12–0
Moscow
1939
WSU*
21–13
Pullman
1940
WSU
26–0
Moscow
1941
WSU*
26–0
Pullman
1942
WSU
7–0
Moscow
1943
1944
No
games
1945
WSU
43–12
Moscow
1945
WSU
21–0
Moscow
1946
WSU*
32–0
Pullman
1947
WSU
7–0
Moscow
1948
WSU*
19–14
Pullman
1949
WSU
35–13
Moscow
1950
Tie
7–7
Pullman
1951
WSU
9–6
Moscow
1952
WSU*
36–6
Pullman
1953
WSU
30–13
Moscow
1954
UI
10–0
Pullman
1955
WSU
9–0
Moscow
1956
WSU
33–19
Moscow
1957
WSU*
21–13
Pullman
1958
WSU
8–0
Moscow
1959
WSU*
27–5
Pullman
1960
WSU
18–17
Moscow
1961
WSU*
34–0
Pullman
1962
WSU
22–14
Moscow
1963
WSU*
14–10
Pullman
1964
UI*
28–13
Moscow
1965
UI
17–13
Pullman
1966
WSU
14–7
Moscow
1967
WSU*
52–14
Pullman
1968
WSU*
14–0
Spokane
1969

No
game
1970
WSU*
44–16
Spokane
1971

No
game
1972
WSU*
35–14
Pullman
1973
WSU*
51–24
Pullman
1974
WSU*
17–10
Pullman
1975
WSU*
84–27
Pullman
1976
WSU*
45–6
Pullman
1977
WSU*
45–17
Pullman
1978
WSU*
28–0
Pullman
1979

No
game
1980

No
game
1981

No
game
1982
WSU*
34–14
Spokane
1983

No
game
1984

No
game
1985

No
game
1986

No
game
1987

No
game
1988

No
game
1989
WSU*
41–7
Pullman
1990

No
game
1991

No
game
1992

No
game
1993

No
game
1994

No
game
1995

No
game
1996

No
game
1997

No
game
1998
WSU*
24–16
Pullman
1999
UI
28–17
Pullman
2000
UI
38–34
Pullman
2001
WSU*
36–7
Pullman
2002
WSU*
49–14
Pullman
2003
WSU*
25–0
Seattle
2004
WSU*
49–8
Pullman
2005
WSU*
38–26
Pullman
2006
WSU*
56–10
Pullman
2007
WSU*
45–28
Pullman
2008

No
game
2009

No
game
2010

No
game
2011

No
game
2012

No
game
2013
WSU*
42–0
Pullman
2014

No
game
2015

No
game
2016


Pullman

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WSU-Idaho series has sparkling past". Lewiston Morning Tribune. October 22, 1959. p. 13. 
  2. ^ a b "WSU-Idaho grid series diminishes". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. January 21, 1978. p. 10. 
  3. ^ "Become a University of Idaho Tradition Keeper". Student Alumni Relations Board - University of Idaho. p. 3/7. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ ""Win Made Us Ball Club," says Skip Stahley". Spokane Daily Chronicle. October 25, 1954. p. 17. 
  5. ^ "WSC walks". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1955. p. 26. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Battle of the Palouse - Losers' Walk". Washington State University Libraries' Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections. (video). November 3, 1959. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  7. ^ Fry, Richard B. (March 17, 2004). "The Smilin' Irishman". Cougfan.com. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Mud replaces turf in football's annual Battle of Palouse in Moscow". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (photos). October 23, 1966. p. 14. 
  9. ^ "Kennedy en route to a TD". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (photo). October 24, 1966. p. 18. 
  10. ^ "Cougars: Akey talks of commitment at Idaho". The Seattle Times. April 15, 2008. 
  11. ^ Murphy, Brian (October 21, 2012). "Vandals fire Akey after 1-7 start". Idaho Statesman. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Cougars add Idaho to 2013 football schedule". Washington State University Athletics. May 1, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2012.