The annual TCU-SMU game (known as 'The Battle for the Iron Skillet') has been going for the most part since 1915, when TCU won 43-0. It has turned into such a big deal that it actually has a corporate sponsor with the game being called the State Farm DFW Duel. With this year's edition being held over at the beautiful Gerald J. Ford Stadium on the campus of SMU in Dallas, my buddy Mark and I arrived at 4 p.m. for the 7 p.m. kickoff hoping to avoid gameday traffic and actually find a place to park. We still found ourselves scrambling, eventually settling for Mockingbird Station across 75 from the campus. We made our way beyond the stadium to the area known as "The Boulevard." While TCU has the sprawling parking lots for tailgating, SMU has garages that blend in perfectly with its Park Cities location, but don't lend to tailgating. Therefore, the big pregame festivities take place just west of the stadium on Bishop Blvd. in the heart of SMU's campus.
The last time I ventured over to SMU was back in 2005 when the lowly Mustangs stunned the Horned Frogs 21-10 the week after TCU had defeated OU in Norman. It was such a devastating memory that I did not think I'd ever return. Within seconds of arriving on the Boulevard, I was glad I'd made the trip over to Dallas. The atmosphere in this enclave in the middle of the campus was amazing. Party tents were scattered throughout the grassy area in the center as well as along the sides of the road. And everywhere I looked, there were beautiful girls! And these girls all apparently texted one another and agreed to each wear a red dress and boots! Our first stop was the Campisi's corner for some great food before we waded through the ocean of people -- I'd estimate at least 10,000 people -- down towards Dallas Hall where fellow TCU guy Corby Davidson was broadcasting on Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket's highly rated show The Hardline.
I caught up with my buddy Devonric Johnson, a four-year starting linebacker during his time at SMU to get the scoop on if the Boulevard is consistently this great. He said it is always a good time, but acknowledged that it's a special occasion when TCU comes over to Dallas. "When I played, the day the schedule came out, I would circle the TCU game," Devonric said. "It was always the biggest, most emotional game of the year. Almost like our Super Bowl."
Oh yeah, there was a football game. And it was such a big deal that it set an all-time Ford Stadium attendance-record as 35,481 watched the crosstown rivals face off in the nationally televised matchup. While SMU and QB Kyle Padron put up a good fight, QB Andy Dalton lifted TCU to victory, 41-24. This was the Horned Frogs 10th victory in their last 11 meetings with the Mustangs. TCU now leads the all-time series 43-39-7. Next year's DFW Duel will be Oct. 1 in Fort Worth.
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