Territorial Cup Could be for Pac-12 South Title
The Arizona Wildcats and Arizona State Sun Devils will meet today in the twelfth and final game for each team. The game has significant stakes at hand with the winner of the Territorial Cup in position to win the Pac-12 South Division if the UCLA Bruins are to lose to the Stanford Cardinal.
Both Arizona and Arizona State sit at 9-2 with 6-2 in-conference records. Though they do not control their own fate, the Wildcats and Sun Devils will know that they have a legitimate chance at facing North Division winner Oregon in the Pac-12 Conference Championship game. With so much on the line, demand to see the game live is at a high. Currently, the average ticket price for Arizona vs. Arizona State tickets is $170 with a get-in price of $88. It is one of the most in-demand games this week and the most expensive Territorial Cup in the past five years.
Both teams have gotten to this point in similar fashion as they have defeated all non-conference opponents, but have struggled against some Pac-12 foes. The Bruins, in particular, have given both teams much difficulty. Arizona State was blown out by UCLA 62-27 at home in late-September, getting outscored 35-10 in the second half. But the Sun Devils won their next five games, beating four teams that were ranked at the time. With such successful play, they were moving closer towards a potential College Football Playoff berth.
But the Sun Devils fell Saturday November 15th to the Oregon State Beavers 35-27 and all talk of that playoff berth was gone. They still have an outside shot at getting into the playoffs, but they’ll need a considerable amount of help over the next few weeks. A win this week and then a win against Oregon in the Conference Championship, coupled by losses by Ohio State and Mississippi State should be enough.
The Wildcats also lost to the Bruins, losing 17-7 at UCLA. It was their second loss in three weeks, as they fell to the USC Trojans 28-26 three weeks earlier. Those are the only two blemishes on their schedule this year and though they have not had as difficult a schedule as the Sun Devils, they do boast one of the most impressive victories of the season when they beat Oregon on the road 31-24. If the Wildcats can beat Arizona State and then go on to beat Oregon again, chances are good they may get a seat at the Playoff.
The biggest question entering the game is the health of Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon. Backup Jesse Scroggins filled in admirably last week in their 42-10 win against Utah, but Solomon is certainly the more talented player and the Wildcats will need him at full health if they want to get the victory. Playing at home will certainly help and you can expect a rowdy and excited crowd to greet the Sun Devils. And if Arizona pulls off the win, fans will be plenty happy with their ticket purchases.