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Metro Conference

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The Metropolitan Collegiate Athletic Conference, popularly known as the Metro Conference, was an NCAA Division I athletics conference, so named because its six charter members were all in urban metropolitan areas, though its later members did not follow that pattern The conference was centered in the Upper South with some strength in the Deep South The conference never sponsored football, although most of its members throughout its history had Division I-A football programs from 1983–91, all Metro schools had independent football programs In 1995, it merged with the Great Midwest Conference to form Conference USA The merger was driven mainly by football, as several Metro Conference members had been successfully lured to larger conferences that sponsored the sport

The conference was popularly known as the "Metro 6" during its first season, then as the "Metro 7" during the rest of the 1970s and early 1980s For most of its existence, it was considered a "major" conference


  • 1 History
  • 2 Proposed super conference
  • 3 Membership
    • 31 Charter members
    • 32 Later members
    • 33 Membership timeline
    • 34 Championships
  • 4 References


The Metro Conference was founded in 1975 with institutions that were located in urban metropolitan areas The charter members were the University of Cincinnati, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Louisville, Memphis State University now the University of Memphis, Saint Louis University and Tulane University Florida State University joined in 1976

In 1978, Georgia Tech left the Metro for the Atlantic Coast Conference, effectively on July 1, 1979; and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University replaced its spot in 1979 In 1982, Saint Louis left to join the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, now known as the Horizon League; while the University of Southern Mississippi replaced its spot in that same year The University of South Carolina later joined in 1983

In 1991, Florida State joined the ACC, and then South Carolina joined the Southeastern Conference However, South Carolina re-joined the Metro for 1993 and 1994 men's soccer seasons in that sport only, because the SEC did not and still does not offer the sport for men four schools were required to sponsor a sport; the SEC had just three, now two Charter members Cincinnati and Memphis State also left the Metro in 1991 to become charter members of the Great Midwest To replace them, three of the stronger non-football schools from the Sun Belt Conference the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the University of South Florida and Virginia Commonwealth University shifted to the Metro

In 1993, the Metro and Great Midwest conferences began reunification talks that led to the creation of C-USA However, the Virginia schools filed a lawsuit in order to prevent the merger from happening, which ultimately failed VCU joined the Colonial Athletic Association Virginia Tech who was banking on an invitation to join the Big East Conference was left out of Conference USA, and joined the Atlantic 10 Conference it later joined the Big East in 2000 and is now in the Atlantic Coast Conference since 2004 It was joined by Great Midwest member Dayton, who was intrigued by the prospect of playing against regional rival Xavier

Initially, South Carolina was not permitted to participate in Conference USA for men's soccer, although it was admitted ten years later, also bringing along Kentucky, the only other men's soccer school in the SEC coincidentally, Tulane was a longtime SEC member from 1932 until 1966

Proposed super conference

The Metro Conference also had studies into a new "Super conference" in 1990 The study was conducted by Raycom Sports The conference would have included members of the Metro, Atlantic 10, and Big East conferences, but it was not clear if the conference would become a football-sponsoring conference as many of its members did in fact sponsor football but were either independents or belonged to other conferences The original study plan also included Penn State

North Division South Division
Boston College East Carolina
Cincinnati Florida State
Pittsburgh Louisville
Rutgers Memphis State
Syracuse Miami
Temple South Carolina
Virginia Tech Southern Mississippi
West Virginia Tulane


Charter members

Institution Nickname Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left
University of Cincinnati Bearcats Cincinnati, Ohio 1819 Public 41,357 1975 1991
Georgia Institute of Technology Yellow Jackets Atlanta, Georgia 1885 Public 21,557 1975 1978
University of Louisville Cardinals Louisville, Kentucky 1798 Public 22,249 1975 2005
Memphis State University, 1 Tigers Memphis, Tennessee 1912 Public 22,365 1975 1991
Saint Louis University Billikens St Louis, Missouri 1818 Private Roman Catholic 13,785 1975 1982
Tulane University, 2 Green Wave New Orleans, Louisiana 1834 Private Non-Sectarian 13,359 1975,

Later members

Institution Nickname Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left
Florida State University Seminoles Tallahassee, Florida 1851 Public 41,710 1976 1991
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Hokies Blacksburg, Virginia 1872 Public 31,087 1978 1995
University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles Hattiesburg, Mississippi 1910 Public 17,968 1982 1995
University of South Carolina Gamecocks Columbia, South Carolina 1801 Public 30,967 1983
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, NF: 2013; F: 2015 49ers Charlotte, North Carolina 1961 Public 25,277 1991 2005
University of South Florida, NF: 1996, F: 2003 Bulls Tampa, Florida 1956 Public 47,122 1991 2005
Virginia Commonwealth University Rams Richmond, Virginia 1818 Public 31,899 1991 1995

NF - Non-football school at the time but has since added football, first year of play listed
- Southern Mississippi remains in the reunified Conference USA for all sports
- School was charter member of Conference USA, but has since left for another conference South Florida and Memphis are now members of the American Athletic Conference - School left Conference USA, but has since returned Charlotte was one of C-USA's charter members but left in 2005 to join Saint Louis in the Atlantic 10 Conference After announcing football to begin play in 2013, Charlotte rejoined C-USA in all sports except football, which underwent a two-year transitional membership The school began football play in 2015 but was only conditionally eligible for postseason play that year

1 - Prior to adopting its current name in 1994, the University of Memphis was previously known as Memphis State University
2 - From 1985 through 1989, Tulane dropped its men's basketball program after a point shaving scandal and was expelled from the conference It was re-admitted in 1989 when it re-instated men's basketball
3 - After leaving the Metro Conference in 1991, South Carolina played two seasons as an independent in men's soccer, as the Southeastern Conference does not sponsor men's soccer They rejoined the Metro for the sport only in 1993, but was not invited as part of reunification When the program rejoined C-USA in 2005, Kentucky, the other remaining SEC school with men's soccer, left the Mid-American Conference to follow their SEC brethren

Membership timeline


1 Because the Southeastern Conference does not sponsor men's soccer, South Carolina was an independent from 1991-92, rejoined the Metro for the 1993 and 1994 men's soccer seasons, played as an independent after reunification 1995-2004, and rejoined the reunified C-USA in 2005 for the sport only 2 The American Athletic Conference was known as the Big East until the 2013 breakup Schools in the Big East at the end of the 2012-13 season remained in The American Athletic Conference did not change conferences 3 Southern Mississippi is the only school from the Metro to have been a Conference USA member every year since reunification in 1995 Charlotte left in 2005, rejoined except football, 2013-15, all sports 2016 and South Carolina men's soccer, 2005-present have had time off but are currently in post-reunification Conference USA Football was added after reunification at Charlotte


  • Metro Conference Men's Basketball Tournament
  • Metro Conference Baseball Tournament


  1. ^ Smith, Michael 26 September 2011 "History lesson: Super-conference concept rooted in 1990 proposal" Sports Business Daily Street and Smith's Sports Group Retrieved 27 May 2013 

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