It's that time of year where the Arizona Wildcats may create an all-time great memory, even if this season has been somewhat of a let down.
So what's your favorite memory of the Territorial Cup? Let us know in the comments below! We give ours here:
Gabe Encinas: Truth be told, I was born a Sun Devil baby, so I have more memories from the Sun Devils days. But since about 2010 or so, when my sister decided to attend U of A, that's when I started siding with the ‘Cats. People always ask why I decided to go to U of A over ASU, considering the fact that I grew up about five minutes south of campus, and my response every time is that I wanted an education.
Ultimately, it was between the 2011 game or 2014, and 2014 ended up being for the Pac-12 South. The Scooby Wright fumble and Anthony Lopez scoop-and-score on the first drive of the game was the loudest I had ever heard a collegiate venue. That was just an unreal atmosphere, and it capped off an amazing season for this program.
Alec Sills-Trausch: 100 percent it's 2014. Though I wasn't technically a student during the fall of ‘14, that small fact didn't stop me from returning to the Zona Zoo for the regular season finale with my brother and friends.
What made this game stand out (minus rushing the field; we'll get to that shortly) was how the entire stadium was scoreboard watching, making sure somebody around them had the latest play of Stanford/UCLA loaded on their phone. Everyone knew the implication of a UCLA win vs. a loss; how could you not? Even though the score never officially went up in Arizona Stadium until the end of the U of A game, the moment the update came across our phones that the ‘Tree' had defeated the Bruins, the atmosphere shifted from "Let's Beat ASU" to "Holy Smokes, We Could Win the South."
The final Arizona State possession was the most nervous I've been for a football game since the Iowa game in 2010. With the South title on the line, I'll honestly admit I had zero confidence in the defense. Call it being scarred by previous letdowns, or whatever, but I was sure this was going to OT.
Luckily I was wrong.
Lastly, how could we forget rushing the field? Being on the turf with 10,000 of your closest acquaintances, after bringing the Cup back to Tucson, is something you'll never forget. The only thing I can compare it to is being a kid on Christmas morning after eating all the chocolate in your stocking and then deciding to down it with a bottle of maple syrup... just in this case it's not a bottle of maple syrup.
Let's hope this year is a little less stressful, but just as entertaining!
David Potts: This might make me a bad person, but the first moment that popped into my head was Kyle Williams muffing the punt with a minute to go in the 2009 Territorial Cup. I was convinced that we were going to blow that game - all ASU had to do was get into field goal range - and all of a sudden we wrapped the game up in regulation. Even better, my wife and I were watching the game with her father, who was rooting for ASU the whole way and also thought ASU would pull out the win. Sorry, Kyle Williams, but your misery is my joy.
James Schlittenhart: It's hard to argue with anyone who says 2014 was the best iteration, mostly due to the fact that it was the first time since ‘86 that both teams came in ranked and the stakes were high. That said, I think my favorite remains the 1998 game. That team is still the measuring stick for all other Wildcat teams to come after it, and they showed why against ASU that night. Trung Candidate ran himself into the record books with 288 yards, Arizona finished the season with one loss and their best conference finish, and, maybe best of all, the loss knocked ASU out of bowl eligibility. That game also featured some of the more recognizable names for both sides of the rivalry: Todd Heap, J.R. Redmond, Ryan Kealy, Chris McAlister, Trung Candidate, and Ortege Jenkins to name a few. I vividly remember watching the Tucson news postgame coverage when a reporter walked amongst the players on the field after the win, and one of the Arizona lineman uttered a now-immortal phrase (within my family, at least): "Twelve and one. Twelve and FREAKING one." Freaking one, indeed, unnamed lineman.
Jason Bartel: I wanted to come up with one better than 2014, but I don't really think you can. Like was mentioned above, there was not only the drama of what was going down in Arizona Stadium, but also the drama going down in the Rose Bowl. And it's not like the game was ever decided until the last drive. There was the benching of Taylor Kelly (which I believe jinxed Graham and that's why they're bad this year), there was the uncertainty around Anu Solomon, and oh, the Pac-12 South on the line. I thought at the time that afternoon would be program-changing (6-7 since then so I was wrong about that), but outside of the Cal game last year, I believe that's the best in-game experience I've ever had in Tucson. Everything about it was just so wonderful.