FORT WORTH, Texas — TCU players are being reminded this week about a loss five years ago even though none of them were part of that game.
A week after opening the 2005 season with a victory at Oklahoma, the Horned Frogs were a heavy favorite the next week — and lost 21-10 at SMU, their only loss that season.
While fourth-ranked TCU (3-0) has won nine of the last 10 games in the Dallas-Fort Worth rivalry known for its unique "Iron Skillet" trophy, Patterson is pointing out the lone loss of that span heading into Friday's night's game at SMU (2-1).
"This is the first year we don't have somebody that was part of that game," Patterson said Tuesday. "They haven't been a part of it, but I can tell you this much, I'll show the celebration part of the game on video to all of them of how it looked."
There were DVD copies of the game sold by SMU after its big upset.
"I guess it was a big deal," Patterson said.
TCU is coming off a 45-10 victory last weekend over Baylor, another instate rival the Frogs have played less often since they were all still in the Southwest Conference together 15 years ago.
"Second week of emotional games," Patterson said.
While TCU played Baylor for only the third time since the SWC ended, there has only been one season without a Frog and Pony show.
Since 2000, TCU has beaten the Mustangs eight times by an average margin of four touchdowns. Then there is that lone setback, one that might have cost the Frogs a chance to be a BCS buster four years earlier than they finally were last season.
"If we lose Friday night, nobody will remember the others, I promise you," Patterson said. "Not many people around TCU have forgotten the 2005 loss, and we've beaten them a few times since then."
SMU has won five consecutive home games, their longest stretch since 1986. The Mustangs have won both home games this season, including 35-21 over Washington State last weekend for their first win over a team from a conference with an automatic BCS bid since 2000.
This is the final non-conference game for TCU, which is playing all four of its September games in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The Frogs opened the season with a win over Oregon State at Cowboys Stadium, then played two home games before the 45-mile trip across the Metroplex.
"It means a lot to us, but I think we're more worried about just it being the next game on the schedule," tight end Evan Frosch said. "We strive to have a perfect season every year, and we can't have a perfect season if we don't win the next game."1 comment on this story
That is what makes the game against SMU so important, more so than the rivalry that dates back to 1915.
And for the current players, all they have known is success against the Mustangs. TCU won 39-14 last year and in its last game on the SMU campus won 48-7 in 2008.
What about that 2005 loss?
"It's rarely brought up around here, especially among the players," safety Tejay Johnson said. "We're going into the last nonconference game. We're just focusing on getting better going into conference play."