Heart of Dallas Bowl Makes Selections Official

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Dallas – Sometimes you go to Plan B.

An enthusiastic Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank executive director Brant Ringler (picture to the right in the center) was beaming at the initial on-site news conference with participating head coaches Dan McCarney (right) of North Texas and Bobby Hauck of UNLV.

And one of Ringler’s favorite duties at the local media conference was unveiling and presenting the formal bowl invitations to the two head coaches, who guided their squads to two of the most unique turnarounds in NCAA FBS from 2012 to 2013.

“We had to wait just a bit to make the formal presentations,” Ringler noted, “because we had weather and transportation issues earlier. We’re happy to make the official invitations (already accepted) today (Thursday).

“Everything just fell into place for these two teams,” he continued. “We were scheduled to host a Conference USA vs. Big Ten Conference opponent before the season began. Then both Michigan State and Ohio State played up into the Bowl Championship Series and opened a place for a Mountain West Conference team to play here. When Oregon State moved to play Boise State in Honolulu, we were able to extend the long-distance invitation to UNLV and

are just delighted to have them here.”

Ringler, whose ESPN Regional office in the Dallas-Fort Worth area took over management of both the HODB and the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Dec. 30 between Navy and Middle Tennessee at Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Stadium, has had very positive feedback from all sides about the first New Year’s Day bowl date for the Rebels and the second (along with the 1948 Salad Bowl in Mesa, Ariz.,) for UNT.

“These are two great schools with outstanding players, administrations and fans,” he stated. “They both were excited to be playing here, and we can’t wait to host them. We are truly blessed to have this matchup.

“This is also a unique bowl devoted to charity, community service and the Heart of Dallas,” Ringler said. “The teams have gotten into that spirit of giving, and they have been representing their universities well in this regard.”

Though the teams have met four other times (1986, 1995, 1999. 2000) with the Rebels owning a 4-0 series edge, they do represent first-time bowl foes. North Texas is seeking to improve on a 2-5 all-time mark in postseason activity and in just its second bowl tussle in Texas (first was the 1959 Sun Bowl in El Paso). UNLV is 3-0 on the scoreboard in bowls with a California Bowl and two Las Vegas Bowl appearances.

Ringler noted a strong Lone Star State connection with the teams as the Eagles’ roster is dotted with 94 Texas residents, and the Rebels have 10 standouts from Texas, including leading season and career rusher Tim Cornett and wideout Devante Davis. They starred in high school football at Houston’s North Shore HS.

While UNT worked a special rate to allow more students to attend the Eagles’ first DFW area bowl, both UNLV and North Texas ticket offices have sales available via in-person purchase, online or by phone.

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