The Territorial Cup, the oldest rivalry trophy in college football

You may be aware that Sun Devils and Wildcats don’t play nice together, but did you know the reason why? A long and complicated history exists between both schools, and there’s no better display of this rivalry than the annual Territorial Cup.

As Sun Devil Football prepares to take the field, brush up on your football history. Here are 5 things to know.

The first game

Arizona State University and the University of Arizona played for the first Territorial Cup on Nov. 30, 1899. ASU (then known as Tempe Normal School of Arizona) CRUSHED UofA by a score of 11–2.

The 1899 Tempe Normal School football team with the Territorial Cup

The oldest trophy

Despite other rivalry games claiming to be the oldest played with a trophy, they are wrong. Nobody touches the Territorial Cup, which is certified by the NCAA as the oldest rivalry trophy in college football. It’s more than a decade older than our state, earning its name because Arizona was a U.S. territory at the time of its creation.

The original Territorial Cup cost $20 at the time — roughly equivalent to $500 now.

Gone missing

After the original meeting between the two schools, the cup went missing until 1980, when it was rediscovered in a church basement near the ASU Tempe campus. It was later authenticated as the original trophy by the NCAA.

Watch how the Territorial Cup is transferred between schools (hint: very carefully)

Duel in the Desert

Also known as the “Duel in the Desert,” the rivalry game has occurred annually since 1946, with games rotating between Tempe and Tucson each season.

READ MORE: 10 Memorable Sun Devil performances in the Territorial Cup rivalry

In 2015, ASU offensive lineman Nick Kelly drinks from the Territorial Cup as the Sun Devils won the victory.

Tie game

The overall record of the rivalry is 49–43–1 in favor of UofA. The teams recorded a 24–24 tie in 1987. Not to worry, ASU will close that gap.

Go, Devils!

The Territorial Cup is a game you won’t want to miss.

Show your passion for the rivalry and use #NoPityForTheKitty to document your gameday experience!

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