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Roundtable: What do you dislike most about ASU?

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What makes ASU so unlikable?

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Stanford Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

It’s rivalry week for the Arizona Wildcats, who are set to take on the hated Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. MST in Tempe for the Territorial Cup.

Arizona fans have a natural disdain for that school up north, and that got us thinking — what do we hate about ASU the most?

Our staff’s responses are below. Leave yours in the comment section below!


Alec Sills-Trausch: How the times change. If you had asked me this in high school or in college, the answers would have been have been plentiful and passionate — maybe something to do with academics, or their lack of an ability to do much in sports in a macro-sense.

But now, nearly four years out of college (against my wishes I’m getting old), I simply don’t want ASU to do well for bragging rights with friends and coworkers. I mean, unless ASU harmed you in a specific way (such as an ASU fan breaking this person’s instrument), I can’t find much to dislike when it comes to an inferior school — now if the Sun Devils end up winning on Saturday, I might come up with a few worthy reasons.


Christopher Boan: The level of vitriol I have for the Sun Devils has waned through the years as I’ve matured — from DEFCON 1 when I was a teen to a more mellowed form of indifference. They still have the absolute worst uniforms I’ve ever seen, and their athletics department is apparently run by a drunk 5-year-old, based on the continuing saga of terrible hires made up there.

I am a rather neutral observer to the Grand Canyon state hate, as I’m a CSU alum that grew up in MD, but if I had to single out the thing I loathe most, it’d have to be the gross arrogance of a school that’s produced more Playboy models of the year than Rose Bowl teams. Neither school has a whole lot of gridiron lore to hark back on, and ASU hasn’t won a College World Series since Barry Bonds was their starting left fielder, so maybe they should just stick to the whole party school and journalism schtick...


Gabe Encinas: Well, this sure is an interesting question. I grew up in Tempe, about 10 miles south of ASU main campus, and was a Sun Devil baby all the way up until high school.

Then my sister decided to head to U of A and that’s when I started to become familiar with it, and felt that it was the better of the institutions. That, and my high school fed into ASU and I wanted something new.

With that, there was a lot at stake with my childhood and high school friends. And then living in Phoenix now and seeing a lot of ASU it’s just enjoyable to poke fun at anyone if they pipe up about me wearing a block A around town.

But what I dislike about ASU the most is the fact that, despite being twice the size in enrollment, and being in a major metropolitan area with way more resources, Arizona still probably has the most well-rounded, or competitive, athletic department.

In my opinion, ASU should just be blowing Arizona out of the water, and it should be like a Oregon-Oregon State rivalry, where Oregon is just superior, but it’s not. And Arizona State just seems super paranoid, knowing that they’re not quite as good as they should be, but they’re still going to claim that they’re way better than Arizona. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Todd Graham is also a chump. The most unlikeable guy in all of college football.


Tony Capobianco: I grew up in Philadelphia and would’ve been happy going to either Arizona or Arizona State. I never heard back from ASU until June of my senior year and was just as entrenched in the rivalry as any other U of A student. but they made up for it by giving me something that I never received from the U of A, a football media credential.

My first Territorial Cup game was 2011 when our version of Rudy won the game for the Wildcats. My two games inside USC and the Rose Bowl involved Arizona State so it’s hard to hate the Sun Devils but it would be a cold day in Hell if I ever not rooted for the Wildcats.

If anything I do hate how people can’t tell the difference between the two schools. Not even Mike Wilbon could differentiate. It’s almost as if the U of A is the perfect school for anyone in the witness protection program.

I do remember a time when I was covering ASU football and a dude dressed as Jesus went into the student section but was thrown out soon after. Gotta stay on brand somehow, I guess.


Ronnie Stoffle: There is plenty to dislike ranging from their current head coach (football or basketball, take your pick) to the boastful billboards around Arizona that point out they’re number one in the U.S. for Innovation ahead of Stanford and M.I.T., as if to suggest that they should even be considered academically similar to those two.

Those are easy and obvious choices but for me, I think what I dislike the most about ASU is how their fans believe their football program is far superior to Arizona’s. Let’s take a look at the years since their beloved 1986 Rose Bowl winning season (don’t forget the Wildcats won that year 34-17).

Since the beginning of the 1987 season, including the games played this season, ASU has won 203 games which is good for a winning percentage of 55. They have had four seasons of 10+ wins and 10 seasons in which they have finished with a winning conference record.

How does that stack up to Arizona? Over that same time period, Arizona has won 193 games which equates to a winning percentage of 52. They have had three season where they have had at least 10 wins. Like ASU, they have also tallied 10 seasons where they have finished with a winning conference record.

My favorite comparative stat, however, is head-to-head record. Arizona is actually 15-14-1 against ASU during that time period. Rose Bowls are cool and I would lying if I said I didn’t care about them. I just simply detest how ASU fans hold their appearances in that game over us like they are a vastly superior program.


Brandon Combs: Where do I begin? I was born and raised in Tucson and grew up watching Arizona and the Desert Swarm. So just by that virtue I hate the Scummies.

Throw into it the fact that the fan base is as delusional and unbearable as Oregon’s and Nebraska’s. For some unfounded reason, ASU fans think they are the best thing since sliced bread and think they are entitled to a championship.

Also to piggy-back off of Gabe, Todd Graham is comparable to Jim Mora and Willie Taggart in the “I-just-don’t-like-you” of college football.

To put it simply, I just hate everything ASU and ASU-related.


Ryan Kelapire: I really hate ASU’s colors. They are ugly but impossible to ignore. Like, anytime you go to an event that ASU is playing in, one of the first things you’ll always notice is that ugly mustard color that their fans wear. It stands out and it’s hideous. ASU’s maroon color is awful too. Arizona’s colors aren’t original, but I don’t see how anyone — even ASU fans — could possibly think they are hard to look at.

One thing that I find interesting about ASU is sorta what Gabe was mentioning in that it has all the built-in advantages to be better at sports than Arizona, yet it is somehow worse than the Wildcats at nearly every one that matters. I don’t think there is a program of ASU’s that Arizona is jealous of, but I do think ASU fans are envious of the basketball tradition that the UA has (these last three losses aside).