clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What Rivalry Needs to be Back on the Red Wolves Schedule?

Familiarity breeds contempt but does absence make the heart grow harder?

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl - Arkansas State v Louisiana Tech Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

In the Red Wolves media guide there is a small box buried on the bottom of the page underneath the all-time series listings. It shows the most played football opponents of all time. The list is littered with current foes, past rivals, and some that don't even field football teams anymore (I’m looking at you Texas-Arlington.) Wherever there is a gathering of alumni over 40 years old, there is discussion of a team that your school played in the sepia-toned glory days, that has now somehow fallen off the schedule due to one reason or another. This could be change in conferences, scheduling philosophies, or they just downright don't want to. Let’s take a look at some of the teams from this list and why they should be back on the schedule to satisfy the alumni hungry for the good old days.

MEMPHIS TIGERS

First played: 1914 Last played: 2013 Series : UM leads 23-29-5

This series was always a high interest to ASU fans because it meant an automatic trip over the river for big-city bright-lights debauchery, but don't forget that there were many great games in the series. This was an annual series played exclusively in Memphis until 2000 when the Tigers escaped Jonesboro with a 19-17 victory. Probably the most iconic moment in this series for ASU fans, is the Bluff City Miracle.

It will forever be Corey Leonard to Patrick Higgins for a 53 yard hail mary touchdown that would help propel ASU to a 6-6 season, which was only the programs 3rd six win season of the modern FBS era.

Outlook: Terry Mohajir has remedied this on again-off again relationship by getting the Tigers back on the schedule starting in 2020 with a four game home and home series.

LOUISIANA TECH BULLDOGS

First played: 1956 Last played: 2015 Series: Tech leads 12-26-0

For fans under the age of thirty its hard to imagine that ASU once had a true blood rival in the form of Louisiana Tech. Tech joined the Southland Conference in 1971 and then paired up with Arkansas State as an interstate rival through two conferences (Southland ‘71-’86 and the Big West ‘93-’95.) Once Tech left for the WAC and left ASU in the new old Big West, the heated rivalry would fall from the radar. Tech would eventually land in CUSA and the Red Wolves would become a founding member of the Sun Belt football conference. For a refresher course on how ugly this rivalry could be, here is a reminder from the 1989 brouhaha in Jonesboro that led to a broken arm of ASU running back Putzer Dayton. Just go to the 10:19 mark of the video for the beauty that is an Indian Stadium old school brawl.

NORTH TEXAS MEAN GREEN

First played: 1983 Last played: 2012 Series: ASU leads 13-8-0

The Eagles from Denton joined the Southland Conference in 1983 and played the then Indians in Little Rock that first year. After three years together in the FCS conference, the two would follow each other into the Big West conference for 2 years before they would eventually land in the Sun Belt football league. The two teams would meet twelve times as Sun Belt mates, with North Texas not only dominating the Indians but also the Sun Belt beating ASU the first four games by an average of 29 points per contest along with four consecutive Sun Belt championships. The lowlight for ASU was a 58-14 loss at North Texas in 2003 that included multiple personal foul calls on the Mean Green for excessive celebrating as tortillas rained from the stands onto the Indians sideline. All of that would turn around as in 2005 as ASU would reel off seven consecutive victories in the series including a 2011 37-14 homecoming victory that seemed to confirm a new era of Red Wolves football had begun.