The Battle for the Iron Skillet is the football game between the Southern Methodist University Mustangs and the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs. The first game was played in 1915.
A skillet has been awarded to the winner since 1946. The iron skillet was modeled after the little brown jug awarded to the winner of the Michigan-Minnesota game since 1903.
Other named football games include the Red River Rivalry (Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma Sooners), the Lone Star Showdown (Texas Longhorns vs. Texas A&M Aggies) and the Battle of the Brazos (Baylor Bears vs. Texas A&M Aggies).
Wikipedia: Battle for the Iron Skillet
The Battle for the Iron Skillet is the name of the college football rivalry between the Southern Methodist University Mustangs and the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs. The campuses are located 40 miles apart in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The winner of the game receives an iron skillet as a trophy.
The teams have played all but six years since their first meeting in 1915. They did not face each other in 1919, 1920, 1925, 1987, 1988, or 2006. Although no longer in the same conference, SMU and TCU agreed to play each season through 2017 on an alternating home-and-away basis.
The origin of the Iron Skillet is unknown, but one theory states TCU and SMU fans began the tradition back in the 1950s. During pre-game festivities, an SMU fan was frying frog legs as a joke before the game. A TCU fan, seeing this desecration of the “frog”, went over and told him that eating the frog legs was going well beyond the rivalry and that they should let the game decide who would get the skillet and the frog legs. TCU won the game, and the skillet and frog legs went to TCU. The tradition eventually spilled over into the actual game and the Iron Skillet is now passed to the winner.
30 November 1946, Dallas (TX) Morning News, sec. 1, pg. 7:
To Get Skillet
An iron skillet similar to the Little Brown Jug of Minnesota-Michigan fame will be given the winner of the Texas Christian University-Southern Methodist University football game Saturday, the SMU stuident council announced Friday.
The skillet, which will go to the winner each year, is intended to be a symbol of the rivalry between the Dallas and Fort Worth schools to substitute for mutilation of school property.
Before the traditional game last year, both SMU and TCU suffered property damage estimated at more than $1,000 when students painted and defaced school buildings.
A joint banquet of student councils will be held Saturday night after the game and the skillet will be presented to representatives of the winning school.
19 December 1946, Freeport (TX) Facts, pg. 7, col. 2:
TSC (sic) and SMU
Bury Hatchet, So
TCU and SMU have buried the hatchet and are now cooking up friendship in a skillet.
A skillet trophy, suitably engraved, was awarded for the first time this year by the student councils of the two schools to the winner of the Frog-Mustang football game. The winner—Mustangs for the first year—will hold the trophy until the next game.
A link, in the shape of a horned frog or pony, will be added each year to a chain, attached to the skillet handle.
The history of the Iron Skillet
SMU thought up the idea of a traveling trophy in the 1940s. But it’s been mostly TCU property in recent years.
by Molly Mahan ‘09
Updated: Monday, September 20, 2010
The first “Battle for the Iron Skillet” occurred on November 30, 1946, as college football boomed after World War II. Weeks prior to the game, SMU’s Student Council proposed the idea of presenting a trophy to the winning team. TCU accepted the idea, and the two schools’ governing bodies met in Dallas to set up the rules of the traveling trophy, which became the Iron Skillet.
At the time, an inscription on the pan of the Skillet read: “Presented in token of southwestern friendship to the winner of annual TCU-SMU football game. Student tradition sponsored jointly by student governments of the universities.”
After the game, the two student councils met at the Italian Village restaurant in Dallas to present the Mustangs with the inaugural trophy. Derrell Tipps, TCU’s student body president, presented it to his SMU counterpart, Bobby Harris. Tipps is quoted in the December 6, 1946, issue of the Skiff saying, “It was their idea, so we had to let them win the first one.”