Reporter: Jason Barr, Sports Director
TUCSON (Arizona Athletics) The 85th match up for the oldest trophy bearing rivalry in the NCAA will occur this Friday as Arizona and Arizona State battle for the Territorial Cup.
The legacy began in 1899 and was won by Arizona State, then known as the Arizona Territorial Normal School, by a score of 11-2. Arizona has since separated itself with a ten game edge over the Sun Devils, leading the series 47-37-1.
Not only is the Cup the oldest in the NCAA, it boasts one of the more interesting storylines as well.
The Territorial Cup was lost, almost immediately after the first game in 1899. It would be more than 80 years later until the Territorial Cup was found in the basement of an old Tempe church. While the Territorial Cup was lost, other trophies were given to the victors of the annual match up, including the Governor's Trophy, the Ben Goo Trophy, and the Saguaro Trophy. The Ben Goo Trophy is now given as the Bob Moran Most Valuable Player Award, and the Saguaro Trophy is awarded to the winning head coach.
"All great rivalries have something that they share," said Arizona Athletic Director Greg Byrne. "We talk a lot about making sure we have the Cup every year. That's an important part of who we are and what we do."
Head football coach Rich Rodriguez will lead the team in his first rivalry game against Arizona State, and hopes to keep both the Territorial Cup and Saguaro Trophy in Tucson. He'll have some familiarity with Arizona State, as head coach Todd Graham and several others used to be on Rodriguez's West Virginia staff.
"There are a few coaches on that staff that I've worked with before, but we're competing now," said Rodriguez. "I'm not calling them up and trading bedtime stories."
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