Longtime rivalry between TCU, SMU to go on hiatus following 2025 season, per reports

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The long-running college football series between TCU and SMU, known as “The Battle for the Iron Skillet” in reference to the winner’s trophy, will be put on pause following the 2025 season, according to multiple reports. The series has been played more than 100 times dating back to 1915. No reason was given for the hiatus. 

The Horned Frogs, No. 17 in the preseason AP Top 25, and Mustangs are slated to face off for the 102nd time in series history on Saturday, Sept. 23, at TCU. The 2024 matchup moves back across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex to SMU before returning to Fort Worth in 2025. TCU won the most recent meeting in September 2022, a 42-34 victory at SMU, and owns a 52-42-7 all-time lead in the series.  

A near annual-affair since the series kicked off more than a century ago, the 2006 and 2020 seasons were the only instances since 2000 in which the TCU-SMU game was not played. The teams were scheduled to meet in the latter of those two years, but the game called off due to COVID-19 protocols. 

The Horned Frogs have defeated the Mustangs in 18 of the past 22 meetings between the area rivals, though recent years have injected new life into the Dallas-Fort Worth area feud. SMU snapped a seven-game losing streak in the series in 2019 and won again in 2021, marking the first time since 1992-93 that the Mustangs defeated TCU in consecutive meetings. The 2021 meeting was additionally marred by a postgame skirmish

More fuel was added to the fire at the end of the 2021 season when Sonny Dykes, after guiding SMU to 30 wins in four seasons as coach, was hired away by TCU to replace longtime Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson. Dykes subsequently led TCU to a College Football Playoff National Championship appearance in his first year at the helm in 2022, defeating SMU in his return to Gerald. J. Ford Stadium along the way. 

If halted, the TCU-SMU series would be the latest long-running college football series to go on pause — many of which have been affected by conference realignment. One of the long-running feuds that is not scheduled beyond the upcoming 2023 season is the Bedlam Series between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, which also has been played more than 100 times and dates back to the early 20th Century. The series’ hiatus coincides with Oklahoma’s move out of the Big 12 to the SEC, which goes into effect on July 1, 2024. 

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