In the heart of the DFW metroplex, a storied rivalry continues to captivate football enthusiasts and ignite the passions of fans on both sides. The annual gridiron clash between Texas Christian University (TCU) and Southern Methodist University (SMU) reached another thrilling conclusion. The Horned Frogs were again victorious and retained the coveted Iron Skillet, a symbol of their regional dominance and a testament to their football prowess. The Iron Skillet, an iconic award born out of fan passion, holds a special place in the hearts of TCU and SMU supporters.
Photo Cred: Frogs O War
Bragging rights, territorial supremacy, and a tradition that transcends the passage of time were on the line. This year marked TCU’s second consecutive triumph with a 34-17 victory over their arch-rivals. Since Texas Christian’s departure from the Western Athletic Conference in 2000, the two universities have found a way to keep the tradition alive by facing off in non-conference games. This commitment to the “Battle for the Iron Skillet” has produced a rich tapestry of thrilling contests and memorable moments that have endeared themselves to fans and players alike.
The game was a testament to the fierce competitiveness that defines this rivalry. The first half was a closely fought battle. SMU trailed by just four points at halftime. However, the second half was a different story. Southern Methodist’s offense struggled with inefficiencies, including three-and-outs, a turnover on downs, and a crucial interception. A pivotal moment came when Mustangs quarterback Preston Stone attempted a pass into triple coverage, only to have it intercepted by TCU Cornerback Josh Newton. Newton’s significant return positioned the Horned Frogs inside the 10-yard line as the third quarter closed.
Photo Cred: Spectrum
While SMU’s defense managed to prevent TCU from extending their lead early in the fourth quarter, a mishandled fake punt by Texas Christian proved to be a lucky break for the Mustangs. Nevertheless, the Horned Frogs’ second interception early in the final quarter sealed their victory. It ensured that the Iron Skillet would remain in their possession, echoing their narrow win in Dallas the previous year, where they triumphed 34-32.
Beyond the excitement of this annual rivalry clash, significant changes are on the horizon for SMU. Holding a balanced 2-2 record, the Mustangs are preparing to make a leap to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) starting in the next season. This move represents a new chapter for Southern Methodist. Remarkably, donors rallied behind this transition, raising a staggering $100 million in just seven days to support the university’s bold move.
Photo Cred: Dallas Moring News
The shift to the ACC offers SMU an unprecedented opportunity to face off against renowned football programs and establish themselves as formidable contenders in a prestigious conference. With optimism as their guiding star, the Mustangs embark on this journey, aspiring to make a significant impact in their inaugural ACC season. As TCU savors another year with the Iron Skillet in its possession and Southern Methodist prepares for fresh challenges in the ACC, the anticipation for next year’s “Battle for the Iron Skillet” is already building.