Arizona and Arizona State announced Saturday they have agreed to renew the annual football series for the 2021 and 2023 seasons, building off an agreement signed in 2011 to re-enact the original 1939-1949 rivalry when the Wildcats were a member of the Southwest Conference.
“These types of programs need to stay alive,” Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke said. “These types of games are fun. They’re exciting. They are fun to see, and for the fans that can’t get to a game, for them to be able to watch the games being played at your school.”
The renewal is the latest example of marquee programs re-establishing rivalries that had fallen out of the regular-season picture following a string of shakeups by conferences, schools and administrators. The Pac-12 played its first game between Cal and USC in 2018 and plans to play the Trojans again in 2019. In 2019, Stanford will meet its former league rival, Washington, in the nationally televised game in Seattle.
It also isn’t the first renewal of a four-game series. Oregon and Washington played in 1990, again in ’91, ’92 and ’93, with the Ducks winning all three of those games. USC and Arizona play each other in 2020, 2022 and 2024 after already having played in 2000 and 2003, each of which Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez won. Oregon and the Ducks will meet again in 2022.