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New book chronicles Rich Rodriguez-Todd Graham rivalry

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez, right, talks with Arizona State head coach Todd Graham before an NCAA college football game, Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

A new book discusses the deeply-rooted rivalry between former Arizona and ASU football coaches Rich Rodriguez and Todd Graham.

The book, titled ‘Rich Rod vs. Graham: Six Years of America’s Most Intense Rivalry’ is written by longtime Valley journalist Shane Dale.

It focuses on the history that the two coaches share, dating back to their days at West Virginia University where Rodriguez was the head coach and Graham served as the linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator.

Dale’s latest novel focuses on the pair’s in-state rivalry between 2012-17, delving into their relationship on and off the gridiron.

Graham held a 4-2 advantage over Rodriguez in the annual rivalry game during the six-year stretch that the book focuses on.

The Dual in the Desert rivalry dates back to 1899, with the winner receiving the nation’s oldest college football rivalry trophy, the Territorial Cup.

Dale was granted access to players on both sides of the rivalry, giving fans of both teams a taste of past contests between the bitter rivals.

The novel is Dale’s second to-date, following 2013’s ‘Territorial: The History of the Duel in the Desert.’

The former Tucson and Tempe resident offers an up-close-and-personal view of the recent history of the rivalry game and the animosity that is shared by players and coaches from both sides.

Preorders for Dale’s book began on Tuesday, with the novel being released in November.


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