The cross-town rivalry between No. 16 TCU and SMU will be contested -- as it is every year -- for the Iron Skillet. However, this year's showdown includes two programs that are in extremely different places entering the game.

TCU is nationally ranked and has a huge showdown vs. Ohio State in Week 3. Should the Horned Frogs upset the Buckeyes, they'll be viewed differently in the playoff conversation. SMU, meanwhile, is starting its first full year under coach Sonny Dykes, and the schedule isn't conducive for making a bowl game. Can TCU handle its business or will SMU make things interesting in Dallas?

Viewing information

Date: Friday, Sept. 7 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Gerald J. Ford Stadium -- Dallas
ESPN2 | Live stream: WatchESPN


TCU: Can quarterback Shawn Robinson keep it up after a strong debut vs. Southern? Yes, it was a warm-up game, but Robinson could have done a lot worse than 227 total yards and five touchdowns. The defense he'll be facing just gave up 34 first downs and nine yards per pass attempt in a loss to North Texas. It'd be a little cause for concern if Robinson didn't have at least a solid day. 

SMU: Can the Mustangs get out of September alive? After this game, it's a road trip to Michigan and then back at home against Navy. The light at the end of the tunnel for Sonny Dykes' team is a Week 5 game against Houston Baptist. Otherwise, SMU needs to be almost perfect for the rest of the year to get to bowl eligibility. A shootout is the only chance the Ponies steal one here. 

Game prediction, picks

Will TCU be looking ahead to Ohio State? Also, even though the game is literally less than an hour away for TCU, a road game on a short week is normally reason enough to go with the home dog to cover. There's no doubt the Frogs are the better team, it's just a matter of whether they're firing on all cylinders. A backdoor cover may not be out of the question, either. Pick: SMU +21.5

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Dennis Dodd
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Jerry Palm
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Tom Fornelli
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Chip Patterson
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Barton Simmons
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Barrett Sallee
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Ben Kercheval
SMU +21.5

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