First Responder Bowl
|First Responder Bowl|
|Servpro First Responder Bowl|
Big Ten vs. Big 12 (2013)|
Big Ten vs. C-USA (2014)
Pac 12 vs. C-USA (2015)
Dallas Football Classic (2011, working title)
TicketCity Bowl (2011–2012)
Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank (2013–Jan 2014)
Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dec 2014–2017)
|Army vs. North Texas (Army 38–31)|
|Utah vs. West Virginia (Utah 30–14)|
The First Responder Bowl is an NCAA post-season college football bowl game. The inaugural game was played on New Year's Day (January 1), 2011, at the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park in Dallas, Texas. This game physically replaced the Cotton Bowl Classic, which moved from its longtime eponymous home to AT&T Stadium in nearby Arlington in 2010. The conferences are scheduled to receive a $1.2 million payout for the teams' participation.
Starting in 2018, the game is sponsored by Servpro and officially known as the Servpro First Responder Bowl. Previously, the bowl was known as the Heart of Dallas Bowl with Zaxby's as its title sponsor from 2014–2017. The previous title sponsor in 2013 was PlainsCapital Bank. And when TicketCity was the sponsor in 2011 and 2012, the bowl game was officially known simply as the TicketCity Bowl.
The game was tentatively called the Dallas Football Classic until TicketCity, an online reseller of sports and entertainment tickets, agreed to be the title game's first title sponsor and renamed the bowl as the TicketCity Bowl.
The Cotton Bowl stadium opened in 1932. Originally known as the Fair Park Bowl, it is located in Fair Park, site of the State Fair of Texas. Due to the immense crowds that SMU running back Doak Walker drew to the stadium during his college career in the late 1940s, the stadium became known as "The House That Doak Built." The Cotton Bowl Classic called the stadium home from the bowl's inception in 1937 until the 2009 game, after which it moved to what is now AT&T Stadium. The stadium also served as the original home of Dallas' first, ill-fated National Football League franchise in 1952. Later, and far more successfully, the NFL's Dallas Cowboys called the Cotton Bowl home for 11 years, from the team's formation in 1960 until 1971, when the Cowboys moved to Texas Stadium. The American Football League's Dallas Texans likewise began play at the Cotton Bowl in 1960, but were unable to compete successfully financially with Cowboys and after only three money-losing seasons moved to Kansas City, where they became quite successful on and off the field as the Kansas City Chiefs.
For the first four games, the Big Ten was contracted to send a team each season, with alternating appearances from the Big 12 (even seasons) and C-USA (odd seasons). For the 2013 season, the Big Ten did not have enough bowl-eligible teams, so the selection committee chose an at-large team, UNLV from the Mountain West Conference, to take their place.
For the next six games, C-USA is contracted to send a team each season, with alternating appearances from the Big Ten (even seasons) and Big 12 (odd seasons). For the 2015 season, the Big 12 did not have enough bowl-eligible teams, so the selection committee selected the Washington Huskies from the Pac-12 Conference to take its place. For the 2016 season, the Big Ten sent four teams to CFP bowls, so the selection committee chose an at-large team, independent Army, to take its place.
After having been played on January 1 or January 2 for its first four editions, the game moved to a late December date beginning with the 2014 season.
|Season||Contracted tie-ins||Date played||Actual participants|
|2010||Big Ten||Big 12||January 1, 2011||Big Ten||Big 12|
|2011||C-USA||January 2, 2012||Big Ten||C-USA|
|2012||Big 12||January 1, 2013||Big Ten||Big 12|
|2013||C-USA||January 1, 2014||Mountain West||C-USA|
|2014||C-USA||Big Ten||December 26, 2014||C-USA||Big Ten|
|2015||Big 12||December 26, 2015||C-USA||Pac-12|
|2016||Big Ten||December 27, 2016||C-USA||Independent|
|2017||Big 12||December 26, 2017||Pac-12||Big 12|
Bold conference denotes winner of games played.
|Date played||Winning team||Losing team||Attendance||Notes|
|January 1, 2011||Texas Tech||45||Northwestern||38||40,121||notes|
|January 2, 2012||Houston||30||Penn State||14||46,817||notes|
|January 1, 2013||Oklahoma State||58||Purdue||14||48,313||notes|
|January 1, 2014||North Texas||36||UNLV||14||38,380||notes|
|December 26, 2014||Louisiana Tech||35||Illinois||18||31,297||notes|
|December 26, 2015||Washington||44||Southern Miss||31||20,229||notes|
|December 27, 2016||Army||38||North Texas||31||39,117||notes|
|December 26, 2017||Utah||30||West Virginia||14||20,507||notes|
|2011||Taylor Potts||Texas Tech||QB|
|2013||Clint Chelf||Oklahoma State||QB|
|2014 (Jan.)||Derek Thompson||North Texas||QB|
|2014 (Dec.)||Houston Bates||Louisiana Tech||LB|
Appearances by conference
Through the December 2017 playing, there have been 8 games (16 total appearances).
|Team||Performance vs. Opponent||Year|
|Most Points Scored||58, Oklahoma State vs. Purdue (58-14)||2013|
|Fewest Points Allowed||14, North Texas vs. UNLV (36-14; tied with 2 others)||2014 (Jan.)|
|First Downs||34, Texas Tech vs. Northwestern||2011|
|Rushing Yards||480, Army vs. North Texas||2016|
|Passing Yards||532, Houston vs. Penn State||2012|
|Total Yards||600, Houston vs. Penn State (532 pass, 68 rush)||2012|
|Individual||Performance, Team vs. Opponent||Year|
|Total Offense||542, Case Keenum, Houston vs. Penn State (532 pass, 10 rush)||2012|
|Rushing Yards||181, Myles Gaskin, Washington vs. Southern Miss. (26 att., 4 TD)||2015|
|Rushing TDs||4, Myles Gaskin, Washington vs. Southern Miss.||2015|
|Passing Yards||532, Case Keenum, Houston vs. Penn State (45-69, 3 TD)||2012|
|Passing TDs||4, Taylor Potts, Texas Tech vs. Northwestern||2011|
|Receptions||12, Justin Johnson, Houston vs. Penn State (148 yds, 1 TD)||2012|
|Receiving Yards||228, Patrick Edwards, Houston vs. Penn State (10 rec., 2 TD)||2012|
|Receiving TDs||2, Patrick Edwards, Houston vs. Penn State (tied with 1 other)||2012|
|Field Goals||3, Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State vs. Purdue (tied with 1 other)||2013|
|Tackles||15, Quentin Davie, Northwestern vs. Texas Tech||2011|
|Sacks||4.5, Houston Bates, Louisiana Tech vs. Illinois (32 yards)||2014 (Dec.)|
|Interceptions||2, Elijah Riley, Army vs. North Texas (3 yds) (tied with 1 other)||2016|
|Long Plays||Performance, Team vs. Opponent||Year|
|Touchdown Run||86, Eric Stephens, Texas Tech vs. Northwestern (tied with 1 other)||2011|
|Touchdown Pass||80, Cody Sokol to Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech vs. Illinois||2014 (Dec.)|
|Kickoff Return||49, Marcus Sullivan, UNLV vs. North Texas||2014 (Jan.)|
|Punt Return||64, Josh Steward, Oklahoma State vs. Purdue||2013|
|Interception Return||69, Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech vs. Illinois (TD)||2014 (Dec.)|
|Fumble Return||37, Daytawion Lowe, Oklahoma State vs. Purdue (TD)||2013|
|Punt||65, Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State vs. Purdue||2013|
|Field Goal||50, Matt Hogan, Houston vs. Penn State||2012|
Note: Only the most recent year shown.
ESPNU had coverage of the first four games. Since December 2014, the game has aired on ESPN. On radio, RedVoice LLC carries the game nationwide along Premiere Radio Networks stations under the name "The Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl Radio Network". KLIF (AM) serves as the flagship station for the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
- Dallas Football Classic To Debut at Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day, AP via CBSSports.com, 14 October 2009
- "New SERVPRO First Responder Bowl to be played at Cotton Bowl Stadium". Retrieved August 13, 2018.
- "Heart of Dallas Bowl to be rebranded by ESPN as vote to keep game in the city looms". Retrieved August 13, 2018.
- "Zaxby's named title sponsor for Heart of Dallas Bowl". Retrieved October 21, 2014.