Non-AQ Did you know, Week 4

Time for another edition of non-AQ did you know ...

Ever wonder why SMU and TCU play for an iron skillet? The SMU sports information department has enlightened us:

According to a Nov. 30, 1946, article in The Dallas Morning News, the "Battle of the Iron Skillet" was started to prevent "mutilation of school property" by rowdy fans. The previous year, more than $1,000 in damage had been done to both campuses.

"The SMU student council proposed the skillet as a symbol of the rivalry and substitute for vandalism," says SMU Archivist Joan Gosnell.

Gosnell says minutes from fall 1946 student council meetings provide more clues. On Oct. 1, the agenda includes: "Further set up idea of Little Brown Jug Trophy," referring to the Michigan-Minnesota football rivalry. On November 12, the committee arranging an SMU-TCU banquet and trophy "was reminded of their job."

And on Nov. 19, a student reported that he had purchased the trophy -- "an aluminum skillet." A motion was made that SMU and TCU would share the expense of the trophy.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the game. TCU has won the Iron Skillet in the last three meetings. The teams play again tonight.

Headed into its game against Southern Miss, Louisiana Tech offensive coordinator Tony Franklin has a 3-0 record against Golden Eagles coach head coach Larry Fedora. All three games have been over the last three years, with Franklin coaching three different teams (Troy, Auburn, Middle Tennessee and now Louisiana Tech) while Fedora has been at Oklahoma State and Southern Miss.

It will be father versus son when UTEP hosts Memphis on Saturday. UTEP head coach Mike Price will be facing his son Eric Price, the offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach for the Tigers.

“It will be real different for me personally, to say the least," Mike Price said. "Eric texted me Sunday night and said, ‘This is weird.’ They’re running an offense that is familiar to us. Eric is really happy and enthused about working there and thinks the future is very bright. Don’t ask my wife Joyce who she is going to be cheering for, because I’m not even second."

Utah is off to a 3-0 start for the fourth time in Mountain West history. On two of the previous three occasions, 2004 and 2008, the Utes went on to play in BCS bowl games. Utah went 12-0 in 2004 to become the first non-AQ team to earn a berth in and win a BCS bowl with a 35-7 victory over Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl. In 2008, the Utes won 13 straight games, including a 31-17 win over then fourth-ranked Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

San Diego State has 11 rushing touchdowns in 2010, surpassing the eight rushing scores it recorded in all of 2009. The Aztecs have also reached the 400-yard mark in total offense in four straight games for the first time since 1996.

Northern Illinois plays four of its first five games on the road, and are in the midst of a stretch of three consecutive road games. Under Jerry Kill, Northern Illinois is 4-10 in road games since 2008, with seven of the losses coming by 9 points or less. After Saturday’s nonconference finale, the Huskies open conference play Oct. 2 at Akron. Northern Illinois' next home game is Oct. 9 against Temple.

Boise State, Hawaii and Fresno State have combined for 258 victories over the last 10 seasons. That total is the third most of any FBS conference's top trio, behind the Big 12 (Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech with 284) and SEC (LSU, Florida, Georgia with 276).

Nevada is 3-0 for the first time since a 12-0 start in 1991.