Arizona–Arizona State football rivalry

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Arizona–Arizona State football rivalry
University of Arizona Block A.svg ASUinterlock.gif
Arizona Wildcats Arizona State Sun Devils

Total meetings 88
Series record Arizona leads, 48–39–1
First meeting November 30, 1899
Arizona Normal 11, Arizona 2[1]
Last meeting November 28, 2014
Arizona 42, Arizona State 35
Next meeting November 27, 2015
Largest win Arizona: 67–0 (1946)
Longest win streak Arizona: 11 (1932–48)
Trophy Territorial Cup

The Arizona–Arizona State football rivalry, sometimes known as the Duel in the Desert, is a college football rivalry between the University of Arizona Wildcats and the Arizona State University Sun Devils. Though not one of the longest football rivalries, the winner receives the Territorial Cup, created for their 1899 matchup and which the NCAA has certified as the oldest rivalry trophy in college football.[2] While the Territorial Cup did not change hands as a regular part of the competition until 2001, the rivalry between the two schools continued after 1899, a semi-regular event until becoming an annual event from 1946 onwards. It is part of the wider Arizona–Arizona State rivalry, which crosses 20 varsity intercollegiate sports.


The rivalry dates to 1899, when the University of Arizona in Tucson played the Normal School of Arizona in Tempe – which later evolved into Arizona State University[3] – as part of the Arizona Territorial Football League Championship. The championship was a four-way series that also included Phoenix Union High School and Phoenix Indian School. Arizona and the Normal School met on November 30, 1899 for a Thanksgiving Day match at Carrillo Gardens Field in Tucson. Contemporary newspaper stories indicate that this was the first game for the University squad, while the Normal team was comparatively more experienced and better trained. The event drew 300 enthusiastic fans and was followed by a post-game Thanksgiving celebration for both teams hosted by the University. The "Normals", as they were called, won the game 11-2; as they had previously defeated the other schools, they were declared champions and received the Territorial Cup.[4]

The two teams played each other sporadically for the next decades, and have played almost every year beginning in 1925 (when Arizona State became a four year college). The rivalry became particularly heated in the late 1950s amid the political contention over turning Arizona State College into an official university, a change opposed by the University of Arizona and many of its alumni. In 1958, the year the measure was to be put to a statewide vote, Arizona State defeated Arizona 47–0. The blowout win was a major point of pride for Arizona State, which became a university later that year.[5]

Another notably heated game came in 1968. The contest was expected to decide which team would go on to the Sun Bowl, but before the game, Arizona coach Darrell Mudra issued an ultimatum to the Sun Bowl committee that his team would not play in the bowl unless they were selected regardless of who won. The committee chose Arizona, who promptly lost to Arizona State by a score of 30-7 in what became known as the "Ultimatum Bowl". The events led to the creation of the Fiesta Bowl as a default bowl for Arizona State should they receive no other bids; the Fiesta Bowl went on to become part of the highly lucrative Bowl Championship Series[5] and is now part of the College Football Playoff system.

In the modern era of the game, it has often been played on the day after Thanksgiving. It has most recently been scheduled for the Saturday after Thanksgiving to accommodate network television coverage. Starting with the 2009-2010 school year, State Farm became the presenting sponsor for the State Farm Territorial Cup Series. This series encompasses each of the 20 varsity intercollegiate sports that Arizona and Arizona State compete head to head in. Each sport is worth 1 point in the year-long competition. The school that wins the most head to head competitions is awarded the new Territorial Cup Series Trophy. Arizona leads the Series 4-1 according to the original rules. This is disputed by Arizona State, which recognizes an additional sport and the score 3-2.

Territorial Cup[edit]

In 1899, and continuously since 2001, each year's winner receives the Territorial Cup, a traveling trophy. The trophy was originally used in 1899 for the series that involved the teams' first ever meeting. As the Normal School won all three of its games, it was declared champion and awarded the trophy.[6] The cup's name refers to the fact that Arizona was a U.S. territory at the time; it became a state in 1912.

After the tournament the trophy's whereabouts were unknown until 1980 when it was rediscovered in the basement of a church adjacent to Arizona State's campus. The cup was put on display in the Alumni Association headquarters and then the University Archives.[7] It was later authenticated as the original cup by the NCAA, making it the oldest rivalry game trophy in college football.[2]

In 2000, Arizona contacted Arizona State about displaying the cup on their campus. The following year, then ASU President Lattie Coor ordered that the Territorial Cup be shared as a traveling trophy, to be displayed by each year's winner. Coor and then UA President Peter Likins signed a protocol governing the cup's use and care. Each year the tradition is celebrated at a pre-game reception for boosters. A replica version was also made and is the trophy presented to the winner after the game.[7][8]

The cup is silver plate over Britannia base metal and was manufactured by Reed and Barton of Taunton, Massachusetts. It was a standard style priced at $20 ($462.05 in 2010 dollars) in Reed and Barton's 1910 catalog. The inscription reads "Arizona Foot Ball League Championship 1899 Normal".[8]

Game results[edit]

Arizona leads the series 48–39–1, which includes a 20–2 start for Arizona from 1899 to 1948. Arizona State University was previously known as the Normal School of Arizona (1899–1901), Tempe Normal School (1901–25), Tempe State Teacher's College (1925–28), Arizona State Teacher's College (1928–45), and Arizona State College (1945–58).[3][9] Arizona State did not come under the control and patronage of the state's Board of Regents until 1945 and the teams did not play each other every year until 1946. Since that time, Arizona State leads the series 37–31–1.

Similarly, since Arizona State became a university in 1958, Arizona State leads the series 31–25–1. Since both teams moved from the Western Athletic Conference to what is now the Pacific-12 Conference, Arizona leads the series 20–16–1. #11 Arizona won the latest match-up, defeating the Sun Devils 42–35 on November 28, 2014 in Tucson.

Arizona victories are shaded ██ blue. Arizona State victories are shaded ██ maroon. Ties are white.

All Time Results[10]
Year Winner Loser Location
1899 Arizona State 11 Arizona 2 Tucson
1902 Arizona 12 Arizona State 0 Tucson
1914 Arizona 34 Arizona State 0 Tucson
1915 Arizona 7 Arizona State 0 Tucson
1919 Arizona 59 Arizona State 0 Tucson
1925 Arizona 13 Arizona State 3 Tucson
1926 Arizona 35 Arizona State 0 Tucson
1928 Arizona 39 Arizona State 0 Tucson
1929 Arizona 26 Arizona State 0 Tucson
1930 Arizona 6 Arizona State 0 Tucson
1931 Arizona State 19 Arizona 6 Tempe
1932 Arizona 20 Arizona State 6 Tucson
1933 Arizona 26 Arizona State 7 Tempe
1934 Arizona 32 Arizona State 6 Tucson
1935 Arizona 26 Arizona State 0 Tucson
1936 Arizona 18 Arizona State 0 Tempe
1937 Arizona 20 Arizona State 6 Tucson
1941 Arizona 20 Arizona State 7 Tempe
1942 Arizona 23 Arizona State 0 Tempe
1946 Arizona 67 Arizona State 0 Tucson
1947 Arizona 26 Arizona State 13 Tempe
1948 Arizona 33 Arizona State 21 Tucson
1949 Arizona State 34 Arizona 7 Tempe
1950 Arizona State 47 Arizona 13 Tucson
1951 Arizona State 61 Arizona 14 Tempe
1952 Arizona State 20 Arizona 18 Tucson
1953 Arizona 35 Arizona State 0 Tempe
1954 Arizona 54 Arizona State 14 Tucson
1955 Arizona 7 Arizona State 6 Tempe
1956 Arizona State 20 Arizona 0 Tucson
1957 Arizona State 47 Arizona 7 Tempe
1958 Arizona State 47 Arizona 0 Tucson
1959 Arizona State 15 Arizona 9 Tempe
1960 Arizona 35 Arizona State 7 Tucson
1961 Arizona 22 Arizona State 13 Tempe
1962 Arizona 20 Arizona State 17 Tucson
1963 Arizona State 35 Arizona 6 Tempe
1964 Arizona 30 Arizona State 6 Tucson
1965 Arizona State 14 Arizona 6 Tempe
1966 Arizona State 20 Arizona 17 Tucson
1967 Arizona State 47 Arizona 7 Tempe
1968 Arizona State 30 Arizona 7 Tucson
1969 Arizona State 38 Arizona 24 Tempe
1970 Arizona State 10 Arizona 6 Tucson
1971 Arizona State 31 Arizona 0 Tempe
1972 Arizona State 38 Arizona 21 Tucson
1973 Arizona State 55 Arizona 19 Tempe
1974 Arizona 10 Arizona State 0 Tucson
1975 #8 Arizona State 24 #12 Arizona 21 Tempe
1976 Arizona State 27 Arizona 10 Tucson
1977 Arizona State 23 Arizona 7 Tempe
1978 Arizona State 18 Arizona 17 Tucson
1979 Arizona 27 Arizona State 24 Tempe
1980 Arizona State 44 Arizona 7 Tucson
1981 Arizona State 24 Arizona 13 Tempe
1982 Arizona 28 Arizona State 18 Tucson
1983 Arizona 17 Arizona State 15 Tempe
1984 Arizona 16 Arizona State 10 Tucson
1985 Arizona 16 Arizona State 13 Tempe
1986 #14 Arizona 34 #4 Arizona State 17 Tucson
1987 Arizona State 24 Arizona 24 Tempe
1988 Arizona 28 Arizona State 18 Tucson
1989 Arizona 28 Arizona State 10 Tempe
1990 Arizona 21 Arizona State 17 Tucson
1991 Arizona State 37 Arizona 14 Tempe
1992 Arizona State 7 Arizona 6 Tucson
1993 Arizona 34 Arizona State 20 Tempe
1994 Arizona 28 Arizona State 27 Tucson
1995 Arizona 31 Arizona State 28 Tempe
1996 #4 Arizona State 56 Arizona 14 Tucson
1997 Arizona 28 #12 Arizona State 16 Tempe
1998 #7 Arizona 50 Arizona State 42 Tucson
1999 Arizona State 42 Arizona 27 Tempe
2000 Arizona State 30 Arizona 17 Tucson
2001 Arizona 34 Arizona State 21 Tempe
2002 Arizona State 34 Arizona 20 Tucson
2003 Arizona State 28 Arizona 7 Tempe
2004 Arizona 34 #18 Arizona State 27 Tucson
2005 Arizona State 23 Arizona 20 Tempe
2006 Arizona State 28 Arizona 14 Tucson
2007 #13 Arizona State 20 Arizona 17 Tempe
2008 Arizona 31 Arizona State 10 Tucson
2009 Arizona 20 Arizona State 17 Tempe
2010 Arizona State 30 Arizona 29 Tucson
2011 Arizona 31 Arizona State 27 Tempe
2012 Arizona State 41 #24 Arizona 34 Tucson
2013 #12 Arizona State 58 Arizona 21 Tempe
2014 #11 Arizona 42 #13 Arizona State 35 Tucson

See also[edit]