On November 30, 1899 a new rivalry was ignited when Tempe Normal School defeated the University of Arizona by a score of 11-2. The loss
in Tucson was a bit of an embarrassment for Arizona, but they would go on to win the next nine meetings between 1902 and 1930 by a combined score of 231-3. Today Tempe Normal School is known
as Arizona State and the rivalry has been one of the most intense in-state rivalries in college football that few seem to acknowledge around the sport.
Enter Shane Dale, author of the new book titled Territorial: The History of the Duel in the Desert.
Dale’s new book aims to bring to light the deep history of the rivalry between these two Pac 12 rivals. While the target audience may be those who root for Arizona or Arizona State, Dale also delivers the goods for college football history junkies such as myself who want to learn more about the game’s traditions. Being out here on the east coast I can tell you that the rivalry between Arizona and Arizona State is easily overlooked when we discuss top rivalries in college sports and football. We hear plenty about Ohio State-Michigan and Alabama-Auburn. The closest we hear to a west coast rivalry in college football might be Notre Dame-USC. But Dale enlightens college football fans everywhere that the intensity and raw emotion that go in to The Territorial Cup may be among the best in the country.
I asked Dale to hop on to the podcast to discuss the rivalry and the new book and he was kind enough to share some time with me to do just that. We also took a look at the current state of the rivalry, which has seen the road team win each of the last four meetings and enters a new era with head coaches Rich Rodriguez at Arizona and Todd Graham at Arizona State. Which coach seems to understand or embrace the rivalry more?
Which team has a better shot at a Pac 12 South run this season in what could be a crowded division at the top? Find out what Dale has to say and more in this episode of the podcast.
Territorial: The History of the Duel in the Desert is available through Amazon. It is available in paperback and on Kindle. For more great information on the rivalry, check out Dale’s webpage for the book.
Audio widget not showing up below? Click here to listen to the full podcast.