The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth will become part of the Big 12 bowl mix, starting with the 2014 season, sources close to the situation have confirmed. A formal announcement is expected later today.
As part of the deal, the Big 12 will provide its No. 7 pick to either the game in Fort Worth or the Heart of Dallas Bowl on an annual basis five times during a six-year stretch (2014-19). A Big 12 team will be a primary back-up selection in the other season.
In years that a Big 12 school does not wind up in Fort Worth, a team from the Big Ten will compete in the game at Amon G. Carter Stadium while a Big 12 school heads to Dallas as part of a reciprocal deal between the two bowls and the two leagues. The Big Ten agreement with the D-FW bowls, announced in July, covers the 2013-19 seasons.
The Big Ten will send a team to this year’s Heart of Dallas Bowl. The 2013 Armed Forces Bowl, to be played Dec. 30 in Fort Worth (10:45 a.m., ESPN) will feature Navy – pending bowl eligibility -- against an opponent from the Mountain West Conference.
_ Jimmy Burch