Arizona Football: What the Territorial Cup means to Zona Zealots?

Sep 14, 2019; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats running back Gary Brightwell (23) celebrates a touchdown against the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the second half at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 14, 2019; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats running back Gary Brightwell (23) celebrates a touchdown against the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the second half at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports /

So why does the Territorial Cup carry so much value for Arizona Football and its fans? Well, listen to what our writers have to say about the rivalry!

We have made it folks! Not sure many of us believed we would reach this point at the beginning of the season but we have arrived. It is the most intense week around the great state of Arizona and I am not talking about the elections. At 5 PM on Friday, the fight for the Territorial Cup is on for Arizona Football!

Yes, it might be between two teams who have not registered a win yet, but that will not take away from the ‘no love lost’ between the Wildcats and the Scum Devils…. ahem, I mean Sun Devils.

Arizona Wildcats
Arizona Wildcats /

Arizona Wildcats

This game has been going for years and is considered one of the oldest, best, and most underrated rivalries in all of College Sports.

With that being said, this game has taken on a unique meaning for each person that has a rooting interest in the game. But what does this game mean to the writers here at Zona Zealots? Take a look at our staff’s breakdown…


Raised by two parents who graduated from ASU, it is was a foregone conclusion that their children were going to be raised Sun Devils, or so they had hoped!

My sister and I both ended up down in Tucson, where we both instead became lifelong Wildcats.

For me, it was the great Lute Olson who stole my heart and blessed us with the red and blue colors that the University of Arizona dawns each game day.

From the slander hurled at Lute or Sean Miller from ASU fans, to their fans who so quickly proclaim themselves the best at everything. A prime example of Sun Devil Nation proclaiming themselves to be “GuardU” when they currently have ONE guard in the NBA. That is not a very good “Guard University” if only one has gone onto the NBA.

Or proclaiming to be “number one in innovation”. Really? For what, being the innovators of the ‘Curtain of Distraction’? Give me a break! The only thing the curtain is distracting us from is the lack of fan support and how empty it is in your stadiums and arenas are every year.

They are the little brother who brags about beating you in that one game of basketball five years ago and that suddenly makes them the best at basketball. Or the one time they picked you off in football and suddenly they are the kings of football.

Beating ASU in any sport just brings pure joy to my heart. To bring the Cup home on Friday would be just what the doctors ordered for what has been an annoying and abysmal 2020, to say the least.

The last thing we need is ASU fans running their mouth for another year, and a win on Friday would calm the chatter from Sun Devil nation.

For being a “Football School”, my, it would be really awkward for them to be the one’s screaming from the top of the mountains “Just wait ’till basketball season”, as they once again try to proclaim themselves as “non-conference champions” in the month of December. If only the Wildcats can pull out the win, and it could really alleviate the pain and frustration of Wildcats fans.

C’mon boys, let’s bring home the W and the cup on Friday, so we can silence the arrogance of Sun Devil Nation. BEAT THE DEVILS and BEAR DOWN!


This rivalry means everything. It’s bragging rights until you strap up and take to the field again, and it’s such an emotional game we all invest so much in that goes beyond just the scoreboard.

For those with no investment in this rivalry, and for those in particular outside the state of Arizona, it’s hard for people to understand just how personal this rivalry is to a lot of folks.

Having been to a few games myself and seeing upsets, wins, and defeat, it’s such a meaningful game. It’s unfortunate we are in the current situation that we are in, and fans can’t experience it this year.

With the season not going the way many had hoped, and the program limping to a potentially 0-5 finish, and their first winless season in program history, you just hope the boys come out cognizant, pissed off, and take it out on those guys from losing.

Take out the frustration of three straight years of losing to those guys up North, and 11-straight games overall. It’s time to turn this thing around, and hopefully come Friday, that’s exactly what happens. Do it for Pride, do it for the love of Football, and by all means, take back the damn Cup!


It’s a pride thing! It makes or breaks a season. Winning can save a coach from the hot seat, and to me, it’s the most important game of all sports between Arizona and ASU. If we win the celebration is tenfold, but also losing depression is adversely has the same effect.

It’s the most important athletic event of the year, and hopefully, Arizona comes out on top.

Next. ZZ: Arizona Football. dark

To say this game means a lot is an understatement to say the least. We need the Cup back in Tucson. No better time to get that done than this Friday! BearDown boys!