UNIVERSITY PARK -- Our eastbound trek on I-30 from Fort Worth to Dallas for the annual TCU-SMU DFW Duel -- aka the "Battle For the Iron Skillet" -- included rain, rain and more rain. The trip's biggest highlight was the stretch in Arlington where we slid over into the HOV lane and managed to avoid any hydroplaning for a few miles.
While those of us in DFW all admit we need the rain, it would have just been ideal if it had not arrived in such a massive amount (DFW Airport received close to two inches) on the day of events including TCU-SMU, the Fort Worth Music Festival, Western Days Festival in Lewisville and the Cattle Baron's Ball. Past trips to SMU for the TCU game have proven to be an epic atmosphere on the Boulevard, so it was quite a letdown that in the very week that Playboy 'honored' TCU and SMU in its Top Party Schools list, the scene on Bishop Blvd. was the equivalent of a baseball game's 'rain-out.'
SMU's legendary Boulevard was still lined with tents, but rather than the usual party atmosphere, we were treated to multiple people crowding together to share umbrellas and a few brave souls clad in "FOX College Football" ponchos. Alas, the gorgeous SMU girls in the red sundresses and boots were nowhere to be found. From standing water in the grass area to running water down the streets, the pre-game party was a practical washout that attracted less than a quarter of the typical Boulevard crowd -- it's hard to say a certain amount of fans because everyone was crammed under the tents, but still an amazing feat that anyone was even out in the torrential rain.
As the kickoff approached, the rain intensified to a monsoon. What should have been one of the best events of the year on the local sports calendar complete with a sold-out stadium morphed into a sloppy game that saw 15th-ranked TCU prevail 24-16 over SMU. The Horned Frogs defense forced Mustangs quarterback Garrett Gilbert to throw five interceptions to return the Iron Skillet to TCU following SMU's victory last year in Fort Worth.
TCU has now won 11 of the last 13 over SMU. Next up for SMU is a road contest Saturday at 7 p.m. at UTEP while TCU hosts Iowa State, Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Amon Carter Stadium.
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