Metro Conference
DivisionDivision I
Members7 (final), 13 (total)

The Metropolitan Collegiate Athletic Conference, popularly known as the Metro Conference, was an NCAA Division I athletics conference, so named because all of its charter members were in urban metropolitan areas in, or at least on the fringes of, the Southern United States. 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.


In 1978, Georgia Tech left the Metro for the Atlantic Coast Conference. In 1982, Saint Louis left to join the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, now known as the Horizon League. In 1991, Florida State joined the ACC, and then South Carolina joined the Southeastern Conference. However, South Carolina rejoined the Metro for 1993 and 1994 men's soccer seasons in that sport only, because the SEC does not offer the sport for men (four schools are required to sponsor a sport; the SEC had just three, now two). Charter members Cincinnati and Memphis State also left the conference 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 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 and is now in the Atlantic Coast Conference). 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.

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.[1]

North DivisionSouth Division
Boston CollegeEast Carolina
CincinnatiFlorida State
TempleSouth Carolina
Virginia TechSouthern Mississippi
West VirginiaTulane


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 1995
University of Memphis*, 1 Tigers Memphis, Tennessee 1912 Public 22,365 1975 1991
Saint Louis University** Billikens Saint Louis, Missouri 1818 Private 13,785 1975 1982
Tulane University*, 2 Green Wave New Orleans, Louisiana 1834 Private 13,359 1975 1995

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 but remained a member of the conference in all other sports.

Later Joined

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 Carolina3 Gamecocks Columbia, South Carolina 1801 Public 30,967 1983 1991

3 - South Carolina re-joined the Metro Conference as an affiliate member for men's soccer from 1993 to 1995. The Southeastern Conference does not sanction men's soccer as only two schools offer the sport (four are required to sponsor a sport). When the Gamecocks men's soccer program rejoined C-USA in 2005 after ten seasons as an independent, fellow SEC member Kentucky, the other school, left the Mid-American Conference to follow their SEC brethren.

Joined after Conference Split from the Sun Belt

Institution Nickname Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left
University of North Carolina at Charlotte**, (NF: 2013; F: 2015) 49ers Charlotte, North Carolina 1961 Public 25,277 1991 1995
University of South Florida**, (NF: 1996) Bulls Tampa, Florida 1956 Public 47,122 1991 1995
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.
* - School remains in the reunified Conference USA.
** - School was charter member of Conference USA, but has since left for another conference. UNC Charlotte, now athletically branded as Charlotte, is now a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference. South Florida is a member of the Big East Conference; after the Big East splits along football lines in July 2013, USF will be a member of the American Athletic Conference. Charlotte will re-join C-USA in July 2013 for all but football, which joins in 2015 and will be eligible for championships at that time. Memphis will leave C-USA in July 2013 to become a member of The American.

Membership timeline

Atlantic 10 ConferenceColonial Athletic AssociationVirginia Commonwealth UniversityAmerican Athletic ConferenceBig East Conference (1979–2013)Conference USAUniversity of South FloridaConference USAAtlantic 10 ConferenceConference USAUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteSoutheastern ConferenceUniversity of South CarolinaConference USAUniversity of Southern MississippiAtlantic Coast ConferenceBig East Conference (1979–2013)Atlantic 10 ConferenceVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityAtlantic Coast ConferenceFlorida State UniversityAmerican Athletic ConferenceConference USATulane UniversityAtlantic Coast ConferenceAmerican Athletic ConferenceBig East Conference (1979–2013)Conference USAUniversity of LouisvilleAmerican Athletic ConferenceConference USAGreat Midwest ConferenceUniversity of MemphisAmerican Athletic ConferenceBig East Conference (1979–2013)Conference USAGreat Midwest ConferenceUniversity of CincinnatiAtlantic 10 ConferenceConference USAGreat Midwest ConferenceHorizon LeagueSaint Louis UniversityAtlantic Coast ConferenceGeorgia Institute of Technology



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