Arizona's Rich Rodriguez and Arizona State's Todd Graham have had successful debuts in the desert, overcoming some adversity to get their teams bowl eligible.
All the success they've had so far sets them up for the most important goal of the season: beating each other.
The Territorial Cup takes on added significance Friday night at Arizona Stadium when the two first-year coaches try to establish a foothold in the heated rivalry.
''It's the biggest game of the year, every year,'' Graham said.
This year's matchup will feature new coaches on both sidelines for the sixth time in the series' 85-year history, and first since John Mackovic took over at Arizona and Dirk Koetter at Arizona State in 2001.
Those coaches had rough first seasons in the desert; the Wildcats won five games under Mackovic, the Sun Devils four as the teams finished eighth and ninth in the Pac-10.
Rodriguez and Graham have had better starts.
Coming off a disappointing stint at Michigan, Rodriguez took over an ...