December 28, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights helmet sits on the field before the Russell Athletic Bowl between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Virginia Tech Hokies at Citrus Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports
There has been no official announcement as of yet, but according to this article at NJ.com, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Washington State Cougars will make it official in the next couple days that they will play a home and home series beginning next year.
The first game of the series would feature a return to non-conference opponents for the Seattle Game, an annual “home” match-up for the Cougars that over the past 2 years (not including Stanford in 2013) had been moved in-conference. The move has drawn the ire of the Cougar faithful for many reasons, the most intense arguments relaying anger that the conference opponents in question (Oregon and Oregon State) were actually closer to Seattle than Pullman, therefore nullifying “home field advantage” for the Cougs.
Washington State fans should and will rejoice this move back to the non-conference and I guess we can hope that the future will make non-conference opponents a mainstay on the annual 6 hour trip to the coast. The personal concern I have is that this drives concern that now we won’t see those “big-time” opponents that Bill Moos has been going after (Michigan State, Florida State and TCU) in Pullman for any home and home series’. Instead, those now have the growing potential to be “home-and-home” in Seattle. I understand it makes sense, it just saddens me a little bit as making the Seattle trip for a rare big game like that is a rare option in the schedule for many local Cougar fans, including myself. But hey, in the same token, if Seattle is what it takes to make a few prime-time series’ with the big boys then bring it on!
Washington State now knows (or will soon officially know) that they will be starting the year off with Rutgers, likely on August 30th and then heading to Reno to face Nevada the following weekend. That falls in line with what Bill Moos has been harping on in his attempt to make a schedule that features a quality BCS opponent, a mid-level BCS opponent and an FCS/lower level BCS opponent each season. Rutgers is coming off of a 9-4 season in which they lost to Virginia Tech in overtime of the Florida Russell Athletic Bowl.
Rutgers and Wazzu will then face off in Piscataway, NJ in 2015.