The Arizona Wildcats finished 23rd in the all-sport ranking of athletic departments, their third consecutive year in the Top 25.
UA, however, trailed Arizona State for the first time since the 2009-10 school year; the Sun Devils were 18th in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, which could signal a debate for which school really won the head-to-head competition in the Territorial Cup Series.
Arizona already claimed victory, pulling out the baseball series in May for an overall head-to-head record of 9.5 to 8.5.
ASU lists the competition tied at 9.5, counting a victory in men’s indoor track and field — which is a sport that was not included in the three previous seasons of the Territorial Cup Series. Arizona does not officially sponsor men’s indoor track and field as a sport, although it does send some qualified individuals to the regional and national competitions.
If you go by ASU’s scorekeeping, the tiebreaker is then the better finish in the Director’s Cup, which tilts the series to the Devils.
In any case, don’t expect Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne to be sending the trophy — which has resided in Tucson for the three previous seasons of its existence — up Interstate 10.
There is no third party to settle the argument. The series, previously sponsored by State Farm, did not have a sponsor this year.