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This is the 27th year for the Association of Black Students fish fry.
Family Weekend 2023
October 4, 2023

The Frogs won’t fry

TCU says goodbye to the Iron Skillet
J. Fellows
An SMU fan poses with a flag to celebrate the school’s victory over TCU at the 2021 Iron Skillet game in Fort Worth.

DALLAS- More than 100 years of rivalry over an iron skillet will come to a close after 2025, as the TCU Horned Frogs call off their football rivalry matchup game against the SMU Mustangs.

The Horned Frogs met the Mustangs at Ford Stadium last year in the rivalry’s 101st matchup in which the Mustangs lost 42-34. The two teams first began their standoff in 1915 and the Mustangs have taken home the Iron Skillet in victory 47 times to TCU’s 52 wins.

The history of the traveling trophy originated as early as 1946, according to SMU’s website. Mustang fans taunted TCU by frying frog legs in a pan, and when SMU won the game, they were rewarded with the frog fricassee as well as the skillet.

“I don’t know why we wouldn’t play. We are always willing to play them,” SMU Head Coach Rhett Lashlee was quoted in the Dallas Morning News last week.

Lashlee went on to say the two teams meeting up for the Iron Skillet rivalry benefits the entire Dallas Metroplex. Even Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson attended the previous Iron Skillet in Ford Stadium and participated in the coin toss with his son in 2022.

“This is the greatest college football rivalry in North Texas,” he posted on X on August 16.

SMU students were surprised to hear that TCU was backing out of the Iron Skillet. As of now, TCU has not provided a reason as to why they are no longer facing off for the trophy.

“[Canceling the rivalry] is kind of ridiculous,” senior Chase Vander Ploeg says. “It’s a pretty big game for us and them.”

Seniors Tahira Quintos and Claire Janssen were also unaware that TCU canceled the tradition. They both thought that the conclusion would have been mutual between the two universities

“They just want to keep [the skillet] forever because they don’t want to lose it again,” Janssen says.

Though SMU last won the skillet in 2021, the Mustangs once historically held a 15-game streak of wins against TCU from 1972-1986. SMU’s most recent streak was from 2019-2021.

“We would take it back again because we were once on that streak,” Quintos said. “It was just a moment of lapse we had that [last] game.”

Many Mustang fans and Horned Frog aficionados are all asking the same question: What now?

“Well, who else are their rivals?” Vander Ploeg asked.

Some Mustangs accused TCU of having bad sportsmanship for pulling out of the matchup.

TCU was bested in a 65-7 blowout against Georgia in January’s NCAA College Championship. That was quickly after hiring former SMU head football coach Sonny Dykes to leave the Mustangs and lead the Frogs at the close of the 2021 season.

Despite both SMU and TCU being in different conferences, the two schools have kept the rivalry going regardless of conference realignments.

“I think maybe they’ve gotten a little too big for their britches,” junior Monserrat Rodriguez said.

While SMU is in the American Athletic Conference with newcomer schools like UNT and Rice, TCU remains in the Big 12 conference with star-studded schools such as Kansas, Iowa State, and West Virginia. However, after the 2024 season, Oklahoma and Texas will be exiting this conference and leaving TCU behind when they make the move.

“I don’t know what their plan is,” Vander Ploeg said.

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