- Associated Press - Thursday, May 29, 2014

DALLAS (AP) - The Heart of Dallas Bowl will be played Dec. 26, marking the first time the game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas is held before New Year’s Day.

Bowl officials also said Thursday that the fifth annual game would be broadcast on ESPN. The previous four games, three of them on Jan. 1 and the other Jan. 2, were on ESPNU.

This year’s game, scheduled for a noon Central kickoff, is set to match teams from Conference USA and the Big Ten.

Heart of Dallas Bowl executive director Brant Ringler says the opportunity to play on a Friday during a traditional holiday period is fantastic for the game and fans.

North Texas beat UNLV 36-14 in last season’s game.