Arizona vs. Arizona State - A History of the Rivalry
The rivalry dates back to before Arizona was admitted as a state, and was a U.S. Territory. In the early history of Arizona, resentment between the cities of Phoenix and Tucson emerged. The University of Arizona was founded in 1885 as the state's first university. The same year, Tempe Normal School was founded as a small teacher's college in the farming community of Tempe, just east of Phoenix. Over the years, Tempe Normal School evolved into Arizona State Teacher's College, then Arizona State College at Tempe, and eventually Arizona State University.
The football rivalry between the two schools dates back over 100 years. The Arizona Territorial Normal School football team was the first to claim the original Territorial Cup for winning the Arizona Territorial Football League Championship after a season of three games in 1899. The Normals, as they were known at the time, were undefeated in gridiron matches with the Phoenix Union High School (6-0), the Phoenix Indian School (6-0) and the University of Arizona (11-2).
The first "Big Game" against the University of Arizona was played on Thanksgiving Day, November 30, 1899 at Carillo Gardens field in Tucson before a vocal and enthusiastic crowd of 300 fans. Newspaper accounts suggested this was the University team's first game and that the Normal squad was physically larger and better conditioned. The atmosphere was one of genuine sportsmanship as the University students met the Normal team at the train station, entertained them at a campus dormitory and hosted a post-game Thanksgiving feast.
Both athletic programs have been consistently in the top 20 in the Director's Cup standings for the past decade, recognizing the best athletic programs in the country.
Arizona leads the all-time series against ASU in football (47-37-1), Men's Basketball (140-74), Softball (97-85) and Baseball (226-193-1). ASU leads the series in Women's Basketball (46.5-25.5). Volleyball (40-40) is currently tied.