Big 12 Added to Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Lineup
Starting with the 2014 season, a Big 12 Conference school will be playing in either the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl or the Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank as the league will supply its seventh selection in five of the six seasons (2014-2019), and will be a primary back-up selection in one of the years.
“Our schools said we'd be well advised to have some bowls that our fans can easily travel to each year,” said Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 commissioner. “With the prospect of games at two more excellent venues in two of Texas' biggest cities (Dallas No. 3 and Fort Worth No. 5), we have fulfilled our needs to keep post-season games closer to our campuses.”
"Both committees were extremely excited to be working together in hosting a Big 12 Conference school for their games,” said Brant Ringler, Executive Director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. We look forward to working with the Big 12 Conference and its counterparts in the Big Ten during the next six seasons to produce exciting postseason football games in North Texas. The association with the Cotton Bowl Stadium representatives will be invaluable with the continuation of a "New Year" tradition at the historic facility. Amon G. Carter Stadium on the campus of TCU is one of the showcase collegiate stadiums in United States."
Kern Egan, the spokesperson for the Heart of Dallas committee, "was extremely pleased to have the Big 12 Conference back in the rotation for the Heart of Dallas Bowl. The ongoing support of one of college football’s premier conferences will continue to help the Heart of Dallas raise money for charities to make our city a better place.”
In mid-July, the Big Ten Conference announced that a member school will appear in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl or the Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank on a rotating basis, during a seven-year period (2013-2019 seasons). A Big Ten school is scheduled to compete in the fourth annual Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank against a Conference USA opponent on Jan. 1, 2014 at the Cotton Bowl stadium. The game will air on ESPNU starting at 11 a.m. (CT).
After two seasons as the TicketCity Bowl, the name of the postseason game at the Cotton Bowl was changed to the Heart of Dallas Bowl for the 2013 game, where Oklahoma State defeated Purdue 58-14 before a crowd of 48,313. The bowl game raised $100,000 for the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance. While a Big Ten school has played in each of the previous Heart of Dallas Bowls, a Big 12 team has now played in two-of-three games with Texas Tech outlasting Northwestern 45-38 in the inaugural contest in 2011.
The 11th annual Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will feature a school from the Mountain West Conference versus the U.S. Naval Academy, pending bowl eligibility. The game will be played on Dec. 30, 2013 in Fort Worth. ESPN and ESPN Radio will air the game with a 10:45 a.m. (CT) kickoff from Amon G. Carter Stadium on the campus of TCU.
While the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl game is played in honor of the armed forces, the postseason contest has previously hosted the U.S. Military Academy (2010) and the U.S. Air Force Academy (2007-2009, 2012). The Naval Academy is also scheduled to play in Fort Worth in the 2016 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, pending bowl eligibility. The U.S. Military Academy is tied-in with the 2014 and 2017 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls.
With Rice defeating Air Force 33-14, the 2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl drew an attendance of 40,754 and the largest television audience in the game’s history with an average of 2,584,000 households. The ESPN telecast had a 2.6 average household coverage rating - marking the bowl’s second-highest rating in the event history.
During the first three years of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl when the postseason game was known as the Fort Worth Bowl, the Big 12 Conference was aligned with the Fort Worth contest. Kansas defeated Houston 42-13 in the third annual game at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Due to its BCS commitment, the Big 12 did not have a school available to play in the 2003 and 2004 games. Current Big 12 member TCU, then a member of Conference USA, dropped a 34-31 decision to Boise State in the inaugural Fort Worth Bowl before a crowd of 38,028 in 2003.