College football is great in part because of all the great rivalries, but which college football rivalry has the best rivalry trophy?
Imagine you’ve just beaten your biggest rival. A sweet, sweet victory. You don’t need a trophy to validate your superiority, right? Wrong. And here’s why.
Trophies in college football display power and place programs on a hierarchy of prestige. Schools like Alabama, Ohio State and USC are in a class above most because of their claims to national championship trophies. Not everyone can compete at that level, though, making in-state rivals or matchups on the border much more meaningful.
While national championships typically determine the best team that season, rivalry games don’t always matter in the context of a single year. Sometimes these games are just about pride. You see it often. Rivals meet – one’s having a great year, the others are struggling to find motivation – and then BAM! All of a sudden that team who was struggling is clicking and firing on all cylinders. Rivalries will bring out the best in even a deflated team.
What makes one rivalry trophy better than another? Well, it’s simple. It’s all subjective. You’ll have a hard time arguing against some of these trophies, though, as they’re just too good to not consider them one of the ten best. Ready to get started?
10. Arizona vs. Arizona State – Territorial Cup
Often referred to as, “The Duel in the Desert,” the winner of Arizona and Arizona State takes home the Territorial Cup. Well, since 2001 at least. Prior to that, there wasn’t a back-and-forth with the winner taking the trophy.
This rivalry pre-dates statehood in Arizona (1912), as the Wildcats and Sun Devils first met on the gridiron in 1899. That’s where the name comes in, too, “Territorial Cup,” because Arizona was still a territory at the on-set of the rivalry.
They’ve clashed on the field every year since 1946 and will continue that trend on November 30 this season. It’s been a pretty even draw, too, Arizona holding the all-time series lead, 49-42-1. The Sun Devils, however, have won the last two meetings.