Early-season struggles do not alter magnitude of heated rivalry game: Pro ‘Stangs

The Battle for the Iron Skillet has gotten less prestigious as the weeks go by. The Mustangs are coming off a lackluster performance in Arkansas and the Horned Frogs have back-to-back losses against teams they had chances to beat.

There will definitely be two teams with something to prove on the field Saturday. In 2005, TCU was coming off a big win and the Mustangs were coming off a tough loss to Baylor.

SMU had something to prove, while TCU was on top of the world and got knocked down by the seemingly lowly Mustangs.

SMU won’t have the luxury of that this year. In TCU’s two losses, the Horned Frogs have battled hard and fell short at the end. In SMU’s two losses the team was out of the game from the beginning.

Things are looking bad at SMU and there is no apparent bright spot. There could be one thing, though.

TCU is looking for anything to turn their season around. Sure it’s against lowly SMU, who TCU consistently runs around saying they are better than, but they will look to prove it any way possible. They might be thinking a little less than they should about SMU.

The only thing the Mustangs can take to heart is that they looked worse last week. TCU sees SMU as their whipping boy, a team they can stick it to anytime, anywhere, any way they want to.

That’s also the thought they had two seasons ago. That was an SMU team that finished the season 5-6. This years’ team might pray for just six losses, but this could be the game that turns the season around.

Coming into this season, this was a game a lot of people were really excited about. I hate to say it, but TCU isn’t tearing anyone up these days.

Sure, they won 27-0 against Baylor. Congrats, you beat a team that is in a major conference for their baseball program. So TCU, quit your Big 12 wanna-be belly aching, and realize that you’re currently not even the best team in your non-BCS conference, and that wont change even if you beat SMU 100-0.

The thing is, if SMU loses, yeah, everyone expected that. If TCU loses, wow, it could be the end of the world in Fort Worth.

So do I expect SMU to walk into far west Dallas and pick up an easy win?

Of course not. I’m not blind.

But I think SMU might be putting up a better fight than TCU expects. And at the end of the day … we’ve had the skillet for the past two seasons, so there.

At the end of the day, SMU is in a major metropolitan city, has a real mascot and doesn’t wear purple.