Houston's big annual bowl game just got a major boost.

Starting next year, the Texas Bowl will pit teams from the Big 12 and the SEC against one another. The SEC, easily one of the top NCAA football conferences, replaces the Big 10.

"We are proud and excited to welcome the SEC to the Texas Bowl," says Texans president Jamey Rootes."Today represents another important milestone in our quest to make the Texas Bowl an elite college football event, which is a source of pride for the city of Houston and a cherished annual tradition for football fans across the region."

The game is played close to New Years each year, acting as an anchor for the big holiday weekend. The new, six-year deal calls for the bowl to get the 4th selection from the Big 12 after the playoff bowls have made their selection while the SEC selection will be part of a pool with other bowls. The change is especially significant considering many of the SEC teams are within a relatively easy driving distance to Houston. That could mean more ticket sales and an increase in travel to Houston.

The Texas Bowl was previously the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. The deal with Meineke has ended and bowl officials are looking for a new title sponsor.

The 2013 Texas Bowl will be played Friday, Dec. 27. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN with a 5 pm kickoff.