Kyle Williams 2009

The last two years...
Photo by Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic

Rivalry season is here in the Pac-12. Stanford and Cal face off in the Big Game and… What is that game in Arizona called again?

It is time to put an end to the “Duel in the Desert” moniker. It sounds like it could be a car race, a fencing competition, or even cheerleading camp.

There is only one Territorial Cup. The name of the oldest rivalry trophy in college football should also be the name of the annual battle for said trophy. Like the Apple Cup but bigger. Like the World Cup, Arizona-style. The greatest event in all the Territory.

The school that produced Kush against the school that employs Kish.

On to the Pac-12 football TV schedule (all times Arizona/Mountain):

Date Away Home Time TV
Sat Nov 19 Washington OSU 1:30 p.m. RTNW
  Utah WSU 3 p.m. FCS-Atlantic
  Colorado UCLA 5:30 p.m. Versus
  USC Oregon 6 p.m. ABC/ESPN3
  ARIZONA ASU 7:30 p.m. FSAZ
  Cal Stanford 8:15 p.m. ESPN/ESPN3

Washington (6-4 / 4-3) at OSU (2-8 / 2-5)
The Huskies fell back to earth once they got to the ranked teams on their schedule. Can they turn it around and hold onto 3rd Best Team in the Pac-12 North status?

Who do Wildcat fans want to win?
OSU. Time for Mike Riley to get a job-saving upset like Rick Neuheisel and Paul Wulff.

Utah (6-4 / 3-4) at WSU (4-6 / 2-5)
Wazzu’s Connor Halliday is going to find it hard to maintain his 494-yards-per game pace.

Who do Wildcat fans want to win?
WSU. I think five wins would be enough to protect Wulff this year considering he only had five total wins in his first three seasons.

Colorado (2-9 / 1-6) at UCLA (5-5 / 4-3)
I expect the Buffaloes to get rolled and Wildcat fans to slowly shake their heads and sigh.

Who do Wildcat fans want to win?
UCLA. Another potential cool-seat clincher.

USC (8-2 / 5-2) at Oregon (9-1 / 7-0)
Another thing the Pac-12 schedule makers have to iron out for next year is getting the North/South matchups out of the way early. If USC was eligible this year the Trojans and Ducks would be looking at playing each other twice in three weeks.

Who do Wildcat fans want to win?
Oregon. The Ducks probably can’t get into the BCS Championship Game but a win keeps them in the national discussion for another week.

ARIZONA (2-8 / 1-7) at ASU (6-4 / 4-3)
It is all but assured a Pac-12 Player of the Week will come from this game. John Bonano won for special teams after the UCLA game and a UA opponent has won after each of the Cats’ last six losses.

Cal (6-4 / 3-4) at Stanford (9-1 / 7-1)
A huge let-down opportunity for Stanford after their national championship and/or Rose Bowl dreams were crushed last week. The Cardinal could still make a second straight BCS game if they win out.

Who do Wildcat fans want to win?
Stanford. I think Jeff Tedford has done enough to last until at least his bowl game. Get the Pac-12 two BCS bids and more cash money.

* * *

They say in rivalry games you throw the records out the window but that hasn’t always been the case in the Territorial Cup. Up until the early ’90s the team with a better record went 50-12. Starting in 1992 the “better team” is only 10-6, and the wins haven’t been easy. Since the start of the Mike Stoops era we have:

2004 – Stoops’ first team (2-8) beat Dirk Koetter’s 8-2 squad.

2005 – The 5-5 Devils had to rally from 15 down to beat the 3-7 Wildcats.

2006 – Both teams were 6-5 but the UA was riding high on a three-game winning streak. ASU won by two touchdowns in Tucson.

Alex Zendejas 2010

...have not been kind to the home team.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

2007 – ASU’s 9-2 Pac-10 co-champions eked out a three-point home win over the 5-6 Cats.

2008 – It was the Devils’ turn to come in with a three-game win streak while the UA had lost three of four. Naturally, Arizona won by 21.

2009 – 6-4 Arizona needed a Kyle Williams muffed punt to end the rally of a 4-7 ASU team.

2010 – Zendejas!!!

The combined score in those seven games is 165-155 in Arizona’s favor but the Devils have a 4-3 edge on the scoreboard.

The problem for the Wildcats is this team is worse than any of the previous seven. For comparison, the last two Mackovic teams lost by a combined five touchdowns.

But you never know. Nick Foles is 1-1 against ASU. The four-year seniors are 2-1. That group of players can salvage a lot of pride by finishing their career with a winning record against their rivals.

With no bowl game it’s also the only time this year the Wildcats will be playing for a trophy.

There is only one Territorial Cup.

* * *

This is the time of year when you have to do some sports juggling. Here is the upcoming Arizona basketball schedule as the Cats hit the road for the first time:

Date Vs. Location Time TV
Thu Nov 17 St. John’s New York 7:30 p.m. ESPN2
Fri Nov 18 TBD New York TBD ESPN2
Wed Nov 23 San Diego St. Tucson 6:30 p.m. FSAZ+

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Scott Terrell is down on the Duel but up for the Cup. Revel in the rivalry on Twitter and Facebook.