For the first time since it was created in 2009, Arizona State has won the Territorial Cup Series and ultimate in-state bragging rights.
Each year, the University of Arizona and ASU compete head-to-head in eighteen sports to determine the series winner. A point for winning the annual football game between the two schools is weighted the same as a gymnastics victory over the other school.
ASU athletic director Ray Anderson spoke with Bickley and Marotta of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM about winning the series in his first year in Tempe, and what it means for ASU athletics going forward.
“This should be habit,” Anderson said. “Frankly, I couldn’t be more pleased with our student-athletes at ASU. We had a real good weekend where four of our teams were competing for series points and three of our teams prevailed to give us the victory for the series for 2013-14. I’m delighted, but I got to tell you, I did not realize this was the first time. That’s unacceptable. This is just the first of many coming forward, that I can tell you.”
Since the Territorial Cup Series began five years ago, ASU has never won the series outright, but disagreements on whether men’s indoor track was part of the series led to a debate on which school won last year.
The series runs through the fall, winter and spring sports to create year-long tension between the universities, and it wasn’t until ASU finished sixth, three places above UA, in the Pac-12 Men’s Golf Championships Sunday, that they secured the series win.
Anderson said that ASU’s first series victory is not only a win for ASU, but a win for all of the sports that don’t get the national coverage like football or basketball.
“In our senior staff meetings every Monday, we do a temperature on where we stand. So it’s extremely important. I’m a big believer in tradition, particularly new traditions. So if this series is in fact five years old, I didn’t know that, but I’m glad it is in place because it really does put an emphasis on all of the sports. That’s important for our student-athletes, our fans and the whole Arizona community to get a chance to follow all of the sports of the various schools, particularly ASU in a victorious year like the one we just put up.”