Pullman - The Washington State Cougars have finalized dates and opponents for the 2010 football season, but the Cougars have yet to decide whether they will play one home game at Seattle's Qwest Field for the ninth consecutive season.
The Pacific-10 Conference released football schedules for all 10 member schools Monday.
Athletic director Jim Sterk said the Cougars may pass on a Seattle game this year, but they’ve reached a tentative agreement to play at Qwest against Montana State on Sept. 11 or against Oregon on Oct. 9 if they decide to move a game from Pullman.
WSU’s first Pac-10 game at Qwest, particularly against a Northwest rival such as Oregon, figures to draw far better than a nonconference game against a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly NCAA Division I-AA) team such as Montana State.
However, Sterk said a Sept. 11 game works better for related events tied in with the Seattle game and makes it easier to avoid holding a key event in Pullman (like Dad’s Weekend) during the Nov. 20 game with California. That comes at the start of the Thanksgiving week break from classes at WSU.
“We’ve built a monster (the annual Qwest games), with 24 events around it,” Sterk said. “Those folks, their preference is Montana State.”
Oregon is expected to be heavily favored against Washington State, but Sterk said that will not impact the decision whether to play the Ducks at Qwest. The Cougars have drawn more fans each year at Qwest than WSU’s Martin Stadium seats (35,117).
Nine of WSU’s 2010 opponents played in bowl games this season. The Cougars have lost a school-record 11 games each of the past two seasons.
Sept. 4at Oklahoma State
Sept. 11Montana State
Sept. 18at SMU
Sept. 25Southern Cal
Oct. 2at UCLA
Oct. 23at Stanford
Oct. 30at Arizona State
Nov. 13at Oregon State