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Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
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megadrone Offline
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Post: #21
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
(09-10-2017 10:13 AM)gosports1 Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 05:43 AM)CardinalJim Wrote:  
(09-09-2017 10:57 PM)TripleA Wrote:  
(09-08-2017 10:52 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  Can anyone recall for me why the Great Midwest Conference formed?

As I recall the Metro had just lost South Carolina and Florida St but why did Cincinnati and Memphis feel the need to bolt and join the Midwestern Catholic schools and UAB?

Did it have something to do with a feud with Louisville?

I couldn't recall the details, so I asked around at Memphis. Before the Great Midwest, the Metro tried to become a Super Conference:

The Metro was active too, commissioning Raycom in early 1990 to do a study on the viability of adding football to the conference and expanding. Raycom’s report was very encouraging and led the Metro athletic directors to pursue a 16-team “Super Metro” conference in which all 16 teams would play basketball, but “only” 12 would play football. The Super Metro would have included West Virginia, Pitt, Boston College, East Carolina, Syracuse and others with Metro members Cincinnati, Florida State, Louisville, Memphis, South Carolina, Southern Mississippi, Tulane and Virginia Tech. The league that would quickly become a football and financial powerhouse. In May of 1990, Raycom presented their information to the Metro athletic directors during the Metro’s yearly meetings in Destin, Florida. The Metro ADs left the meeting enthused and committed to building the Super Metro.

But the Super Metro concept had a number of problems, other than its obvious unwieldy size: Florida State, one of the lynchpins of the Super Metro, wasn’t interested. During the summer of 1990, FSU was wined and dined by the ACC and the SEC, and despite having pined for SEC membership for years, the Seminoles were impressed enough with the ACC’s presentation that in September of 1990, the Noles announced that they were leaving the Metro to join the ACC as the ninth member of that league, starting in 1991.


http://virginiatech.sportswar.com/articl...1978-1990/

Then So Car went to the SEC. Louisville still wanted to make an all sports conference work, but UC and Memphis could never come to an agreement, b/c UL supposedly insisted on a bigger share of revenues.

So UC and Memphis finally gave up, stayed indy in football, and formed the Great Midwest with DePaul, Marquette, St. Louis and UAB.

The Metro was left with 4 schools, and UL finally joined the GMC in 1995. Then a lot of them eventually morphed into CUSA.

Keep in mind this piece was written from Virginia Tech perspective....

VaTech at the time moved its football to The Big East and wanted to keep its basketball in CUSA. Louisville was one of the programs that said no. Louisville knew as soon as The Big East made room for them in basketball they were gone any way. Forcing them to move their basketball to The A10 instead of letting them squat in CUSA for 5 years has made Louisville the enemy to many VaTech fans, so be it. At the time it was the right thing to do.

Louisville was never a member of The GMC. Louisville went from The Metro to CUSA.

What is often forgotten during these how did we end up here and there discussions is Louisville had an opportunity to join The Big East in 1979 but decided against it because of basketball money. Denny Crum and Bill Olsen felt UofL was better served becoming a big fish in The Metro than jumping to The Big East. Louisville fans spent the next 25 years complaining about this decision. Tom Jurich has said the first question he heard in 1997 was "when are you going to get us into The Big East".

Strange how things work out. The question isn't why didn't The Metro Conference play football. The question is what decision did Louisville make that got it into The ACC that Memphis and Cincinnati didn't make? I believe it was never joining The Great Midwest Conference.
CJ

Louisville decided against Big East in 1979? I don't think so. Louisville did not come up in the discussion for the newly formed BE. Is this a typo? if not where did you hear this?

Was UL ever part of the ECAC? Teh Big East formed because the ECAC was too vast, too loose of an association and had programs with different levels of commitment to sports, facilities, etc. Syracuse, Georgetown, Providence and St. John's all wanted a high commitment, and didn't want to have to play a majority of the ECAC schools to qualify for the tournament.
09-10-2017 10:18 AM
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Cyniclone Online
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Post: #22
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
(09-10-2017 10:06 AM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 09:54 AM)Kittonhead Wrote:  
(09-09-2017 08:26 AM)58-56 Wrote:  
(09-08-2017 10:52 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  Can anyone recall for me why the Great Midwest Conference formed?

As I recall the Metro had just lost South Carolina and Florida St but why did Cincinnati and Memphis feel the need to bolt and join the Midwestern Catholic schools and UAB?

Did it have something to do with a feud with Louisville?

Gene Bartow's frustration with the Sun Belt.

The old Sun Belt (only South Alabama is still there) was a very good basketball conference in those days, putting two or three teams in what was then a smaller NCAA field every year (UAB, ODU, VCU, WKU were all good). They had a CBS (real over-the-air CBS) game of the week, and a UAB dancer (my ex) was the opening shot for their pre-game show before every NCAA game. But some programs made what Gene considered no effort, and others did not want to make the investments to step up the conference.

Gene was tight with Ray Meyer at DePaul, and they hatched the plan. Gene was also revered in Memphis. He was the glue holding together seemingly very different institutions. He believed the conference needed DePaul (still a national program then), Louisville and Notre Dame to succeed, or at least two of the three.

So the SBC had an OTA CBS game of the week? How did they manage to score something like that?

Because back then the Sun Belt was a serious basketball league. UAB went to the NCAAs for 7 straight years in the 80s, Western KEntucky went 4 times in the 80s, UNCC had gone to the Sweet 16 in 1977, VCU went 5 years out of 6 (with Charles Oakley).

You're right about the 5 out of 6 (peaking with a No. 2 seed in the 1985 NCAAs) but wrong about which Richmond school had Oakley. It was Virginia Union, a Division II powerhouse that also produced Ben Wallace, Terry Davis and A.J. English.

But yes, 80s Sun Belt was no joke. ODU and South Florida also had respectable teams back then (and Jacksonville with Dee Brown). It was an interesting setup for a conference — schools in decent-sized metros with arenas (many municipal) that seated in the 10,000 or more range. It probably wasn't sustainable, and it had a weird footprint (two Virginia schools, two Florida, two Alabama, and a Kentucky and North Carolina), but it was fun while it lasted.
09-10-2017 10:29 AM
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Kittonhead Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
(09-10-2017 10:06 AM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 09:54 AM)Kittonhead Wrote:  
(09-09-2017 08:26 AM)58-56 Wrote:  
(09-08-2017 10:52 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  Can anyone recall for me why the Great Midwest Conference formed?

As I recall the Metro had just lost South Carolina and Florida St but why did Cincinnati and Memphis feel the need to bolt and join the Midwestern Catholic schools and UAB?

Did it have something to do with a feud with Louisville?

Gene Bartow's frustration with the Sun Belt.

The old Sun Belt (only South Alabama is still there) was a very good basketball conference in those days, putting two or three teams in what was then a smaller NCAA field every year (UAB, ODU, VCU, WKU were all good). They had a CBS (real over-the-air CBS) game of the week, and a UAB dancer (my ex) was the opening shot for their pre-game show before every NCAA game. But some programs made what Gene considered no effort, and others did not want to make the investments to step up the conference.

Gene was tight with Ray Meyer at DePaul, and they hatched the plan. Gene was also revered in Memphis. He was the glue holding together seemingly very different institutions. He believed the conference needed DePaul (still a national program then), Louisville and Notre Dame to succeed, or at least two of the three.

So the SBC had an OTA CBS game of the week? How did they manage to score something like that?

Because back then the Sun Belt was a serious basketball league. UAB went to the NCAAs for 7 straight years in the 80s, Western KEntucky went 4 times in the 80s, UNCC had gone to the Sweet 16 in 1977, VCU went 5 years out of 6 (with Charles Oakley).

What years did they have the deal? Was the SBC formed with the CBS OTA or did it come after a few years?
09-10-2017 10:30 AM
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Post: #24
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
(09-10-2017 10:30 AM)Kittonhead Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 10:06 AM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 09:54 AM)Kittonhead Wrote:  
(09-09-2017 08:26 AM)58-56 Wrote:  
(09-08-2017 10:52 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  Can anyone recall for me why the Great Midwest Conference formed?

As I recall the Metro had just lost South Carolina and Florida St but why did Cincinnati and Memphis feel the need to bolt and join the Midwestern Catholic schools and UAB?

Did it have something to do with a feud with Louisville?

Gene Bartow's frustration with the Sun Belt.

The old Sun Belt (only South Alabama is still there) was a very good basketball conference in those days, putting two or three teams in what was then a smaller NCAA field every year (UAB, ODU, VCU, WKU were all good). They had a CBS (real over-the-air CBS) game of the week, and a UAB dancer (my ex) was the opening shot for their pre-game show before every NCAA game. But some programs made what Gene considered no effort, and others did not want to make the investments to step up the conference.

Gene was tight with Ray Meyer at DePaul, and they hatched the plan. Gene was also revered in Memphis. He was the glue holding together seemingly very different institutions. He believed the conference needed DePaul (still a national program then), Louisville and Notre Dame to succeed, or at least two of the three.

So the SBC had an OTA CBS game of the week? How did they manage to score something like that?

Because back then the Sun Belt was a serious basketball league. UAB went to the NCAAs for 7 straight years in the 80s, Western KEntucky went 4 times in the 80s, UNCC had gone to the Sweet 16 in 1977, VCU went 5 years out of 6 (with Charles Oakley).

What years did they have the deal? Was the SBC formed with the CBS OTA or did it come after a few years?

Wait, I just read closely and noticed we're talking about a Sun Belt "game of the week". That sounds off-base, to me. This was also (mostly) before the Supreme Court case breaking the NCAA monopoly on TV games in football, so I really doubt that there was a Sun Belt OTA national game every week.

I read it as Sun Belt having a handful of games a year on CBS. That I totally buy--Sun Belt was one of the top 10 leagues, and I suspect everyone was still operating under the NCAA TV rules that limited your appearances per year in football. So logically, if I'm CBS, I fill my slate with ACC, Big EAst, Big Ten, KAnsas, KEntucky and UCLA games, and then start moving down the food chain to Metro, Sun Belt, SWC, lesser SEC, Pac-10, Big 8 games, etc.

EDIT: Maybe it was a syndicated Sun Belt game-of-the-week than ran on the CBS station in Birmingham?
(This post was last modified: 09-10-2017 10:57 AM by johnbragg.)
09-10-2017 10:55 AM
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quo vadis Online
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Post: #25
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
(09-10-2017 10:29 AM)Cyniclone Wrote:  But yes, 80s Sun Belt was no joke. ODU and South Florida also had respectable teams back then (and Jacksonville with Dee Brown). It was an interesting setup for a conference — schools in decent-sized metros with arenas (many municipal) that seated in the 10,000 or more range. It probably wasn't sustainable, and it had a weird footprint (two Virginia schools, two Florida, two Alabama, and a Kentucky and North Carolina), but it was fun while it lasted.

I attended USF from the early 80s to the early 90s, and like you I loved Sun Belt basketball back then. Somehow, despite the sprawling geography, the various schools - your VCU and ODU, Charlotte, USA, UAB, WKU, USF, and JAX - evolved into a cohesive unit. No, it wasn't the Big East or ACC, but it was a fun conference, every game felt like a rivalry game. The name, "Sun Belt", captured a common identity.

I still miss it, we've played in better leagues, but none that felt as much like family. I recall my great joy when we finally broke through in 1990 and won the SBC tournament. Good memories.
(This post was last modified: 09-10-2017 11:07 AM by quo vadis.)
09-10-2017 11:02 AM
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Post: #26
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
(09-10-2017 05:43 AM)CardinalJim Wrote:  
(09-09-2017 10:57 PM)TripleA Wrote:  
(09-08-2017 10:52 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  Can anyone recall for me why the Great Midwest Conference formed?

As I recall the Metro had just lost South Carolina and Florida St but why did Cincinnati and Memphis feel the need to bolt and join the Midwestern Catholic schools and UAB?

Did it have something to do with a feud with Louisville?

I couldn't recall the details, so I asked around at Memphis. Before the Great Midwest, the Metro tried to become a Super Conference:

The Metro was active too, commissioning Raycom in early 1990 to do a study on the viability of adding football to the conference and expanding. Raycom’s report was very encouraging and led the Metro athletic directors to pursue a 16-team “Super Metro” conference in which all 16 teams would play basketball, but “only” 12 would play football. The Super Metro would have included West Virginia, Pitt, Boston College, East Carolina, Syracuse and others with Metro members Cincinnati, Florida State, Louisville, Memphis, South Carolina, Southern Mississippi, Tulane and Virginia Tech. The league that would quickly become a football and financial powerhouse. In May of 1990, Raycom presented their information to the Metro athletic directors during the Metro’s yearly meetings in Destin, Florida. The Metro ADs left the meeting enthused and committed to building the Super Metro.

But the Super Metro concept had a number of problems, other than its obvious unwieldy size: Florida State, one of the lynchpins of the Super Metro, wasn’t interested. During the summer of 1990, FSU was wined and dined by the ACC and the SEC, and despite having pined for SEC membership for years, the Seminoles were impressed enough with the ACC’s presentation that in September of 1990, the Noles announced that they were leaving the Metro to join the ACC as the ninth member of that league, starting in 1991.


http://virginiatech.sportswar.com/articl...1978-1990/

Then So Car went to the SEC. Louisville still wanted to make an all sports conference work, but UC and Memphis could never come to an agreement, b/c UL supposedly insisted on a bigger share of revenues.

So UC and Memphis finally gave up, stayed indy in football, and formed the Great Midwest with DePaul, Marquette, St. Louis and UAB.

The Metro was left with 4 schools, and UL finally joined the GMC in 1995. Then a lot of them eventually morphed into CUSA.

Keep in mind this piece was written from Virginia Tech perspective....

VaTech at the time moved its football to The Big East and wanted to keep its basketball in CUSA. Louisville was one of the programs that said no. Louisville knew as soon as The Big East made room for them in basketball they were gone any way. Forcing them to move their basketball to The A10 instead of letting them squat in CUSA for 5 years has made Louisville the enemy to many VaTech fans, so be it. At the time it was the right thing to do.

Louisville was never a member of The GMC. Louisville went from The Metro to CUSA.

What is often forgotten during these how did we end up here and there discussions is Louisville had an opportunity to join The Big East in 1979 but decided against it because of basketball money. Denny Crum and Bill Olsen felt UofL was better served becoming a big fish in The Metro than jumping to The Big East. Louisville fans spent the next 25 years complaining about this decision. Tom Jurich has said the first question he heard in 1997 was "when are you going to get us into The Big East".

Strange how things work out. The question isn't why didn't The Metro Conference play football. The question is what decision did Louisville make that got it into The ACC that Memphis and Cincinnati didn't make? I believe it was never joining The Great Midwest Conference.
CJ
Yeah, I should have said most of the 2 conferences morphed into CUSA.

It's interesting that different fans have different views of what happened with the split. I was working hundreds of miles from Memphis with no access to internet back then, so I had to ask other Memphis fans what happened.

I agree that Memphis admin apparently made a decision to go basketball centric, b/c (I was told) Memphis and UC didn't believe the remaining teams had enough clout to make a football conference viable.

That was a bad decision on our part, compounded by UL later hiring Jurich and Memphis hiring RC Johnson. The two couldn't have been farther apart in competence.

Then we hired Calipari in 2000, and he convinced our boosters that putting everything into basketball would be the best way to gain national prominence. Temporarily, that worked, but not in the long run, as football easily is the dominant sport.

Our boosters were having conversations with Calipari about shifting focus when he left in 2009.

By our second try at the Big East in 2010 and 2011, we had come to realize we needed to boost football, hopefully without hurting basketball. After a few years of really bad football, we seem to have turned the corner, with the most wins in the past 3 years in our history.

Hopefully, we can keep it up, and also get basketball back to being nationally competitive.
09-10-2017 12:25 PM
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Post: #27
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
(09-10-2017 10:55 AM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 10:30 AM)Kittonhead Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 10:06 AM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 09:54 AM)Kittonhead Wrote:  
(09-09-2017 08:26 AM)58-56 Wrote:  Gene Bartow's frustration with the Sun Belt.

The old Sun Belt (only South Alabama is still there) was a very good basketball conference in those days, putting two or three teams in what was then a smaller NCAA field every year (UAB, ODU, VCU, WKU were all good). They had a CBS (real over-the-air CBS) game of the week, and a UAB dancer (my ex) was the opening shot for their pre-game show before every NCAA game. But some programs made what Gene considered no effort, and others did not want to make the investments to step up the conference.

Gene was tight with Ray Meyer at DePaul, and they hatched the plan. Gene was also revered in Memphis. He was the glue holding together seemingly very different institutions. He believed the conference needed DePaul (still a national program then), Louisville and Notre Dame to succeed, or at least two of the three.

So the SBC had an OTA CBS game of the week? How did they manage to score something like that?

Because back then the Sun Belt was a serious basketball league. UAB went to the NCAAs for 7 straight years in the 80s, Western KEntucky went 4 times in the 80s, UNCC had gone to the Sweet 16 in 1977, VCU went 5 years out of 6 (with Charles Oakley).

What years did they have the deal? Was the SBC formed with the CBS OTA or did it come after a few years?

Wait, I just read closely and noticed we're talking about a Sun Belt "game of the week". That sounds off-base, to me. This was also (mostly) before the Supreme Court case breaking the NCAA monopoly on TV games in football, so I really doubt that there was a Sun Belt OTA national game every week.

I read it as Sun Belt having a handful of games a year on CBS. That I totally buy--Sun Belt was one of the top 10 leagues, and I suspect everyone was still operating under the NCAA TV rules that limited your appearances per year in football. So logically, if I'm CBS, I fill my slate with ACC, Big EAst, Big Ten, KAnsas, KEntucky and UCLA games, and then start moving down the food chain to Metro, Sun Belt, SWC, lesser SEC, Pac-10, Big 8 games, etc.

EDIT: Maybe it was a syndicated Sun Belt game-of-the-week than ran on the CBS station in Birmingham?

Nope. Real live, over-the-air CBS. Commissioner Vic Bubas believed the Sun Belt could be a Southern version of the Big East, and for a while that looked realistic. It was a different world then. TV money was not what it became later.

Charlotte went to the Final Four, not just Sweet Sixteen, led by Cedric "Don't ******* Call Me Cornbread" Maxwell. UAB beat #1 Kentucky and #1 Virginia (with Ralph), and pounded defending champ Indiana. ODU had Mark West. Jacksonville had Otis Smith and Ronnie Murphy. It was a physical league; just about everyone cleared the bench every season.

The SEC starting pouring money into basketball about then, and that probably had as much to do with the decline as anything else.
09-10-2017 02:47 PM
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Kittonhead Offline
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Post: #28
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
(09-10-2017 02:47 PM)58-56 Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 10:55 AM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 10:30 AM)Kittonhead Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 10:06 AM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 09:54 AM)Kittonhead Wrote:  So the SBC had an OTA CBS game of the week? How did they manage to score something like that?

Because back then the Sun Belt was a serious basketball league. UAB went to the NCAAs for 7 straight years in the 80s, Western KEntucky went 4 times in the 80s, UNCC had gone to the Sweet 16 in 1977, VCU went 5 years out of 6 (with Charles Oakley).

What years did they have the deal? Was the SBC formed with the CBS OTA or did it come after a few years?

Wait, I just read closely and noticed we're talking about a Sun Belt "game of the week". That sounds off-base, to me. This was also (mostly) before the Supreme Court case breaking the NCAA monopoly on TV games in football, so I really doubt that there was a Sun Belt OTA national game every week.

I read it as Sun Belt having a handful of games a year on CBS. That I totally buy--Sun Belt was one of the top 10 leagues, and I suspect everyone was still operating under the NCAA TV rules that limited your appearances per year in football. So logically, if I'm CBS, I fill my slate with ACC, Big EAst, Big Ten, KAnsas, KEntucky and UCLA games, and then start moving down the food chain to Metro, Sun Belt, SWC, lesser SEC, Pac-10, Big 8 games, etc.

EDIT: Maybe it was a syndicated Sun Belt game-of-the-week than ran on the CBS station in Birmingham?

Nope. Real live, over-the-air CBS. Commissioner Vic Bubas believed the Sun Belt could be a Southern version of the Big East, and for a while that looked realistic. It was a different world then. TV money was not what it became later.

Charlotte went to the Final Four, not just Sweet Sixteen, led by Cedric "Don't ******* Call Me Cornbread" Maxwell. UAB beat #1 Kentucky and #1 Virginia (with Ralph), and pounded defending champ Indiana. ODU had Mark West. Jacksonville had Otis Smith and Ronnie Murphy. It was a physical league; just about everyone cleared the bench every season.

The SEC starting pouring money into basketball about then, and that probably had as much to do with the decline as anything else.

Many of those programs UAB, WKU, Charlotte, VCU, ODU have stayed strong through the years though so the early SBC wasn't a snapshot in time as much as it was the key basketball schools taking different conference trajectories.

CUSA 3.0 with WKU, Charlotte and ODU added was an attempt to bring some of that magic back. So far it hasn't worked completely but WKU is still landing the occasional Top 100 recruit.
09-10-2017 04:33 PM
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Post: #29
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
Wow, this all brings back many memories. At the time, I thought Memphis and Cincinnati creating The Great Midwest was the right choice, but some Memphis fans immediately called The Great Mistake. In hindsight, I now agree.

Looking back, the Metro was always iffy as the two biggest national entities (Florida State football and Louisville basketball) could never agree on the basics of true conference basics. FSU was always pushing for normal conference revenue sharing (makes sense) ... but it was never a football league despite all 8 members fielding 1-A programs. Louisville balked because FSU refused to share football revenue (and I understand UL's stance too).

In my opinion, we (Memphis & Cincinnati) should have stuck around and added Tulsa to get back to seven (and enough to absorb VA Tech's departure). And then approached UAB, Marquette and DePaul about joining as non-football to get to 10. At the time, supposedly DePaul was totally balking at sharing a conference with Southern Miss. Hard to believe now that DePaul would have that much pull and leverage ... ? And if true, should have told them to pound sand from Lake Michigan.

The resulting semi-merger that occurred four years later was a bit embarrassing to me how our collective schools treated VCU and Dayton. Did not feel the same about VT as they were refusing it all via the recent Big East football invitation.

Ultimate irony is that I would love to have both VCU and Dayton join the AAC. I really really like the recent addition of Wichita State. For the current Big East, it is obvious to me that they made three very nice additions with Butler, Creighton, and Xavier ... but still very surprised that Dayton was somehow left out. I greatly respect their hoops, fanbase, and support.
09-10-2017 05:26 PM
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Post: #30
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
(09-10-2017 10:13 AM)gosports1 Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 05:43 AM)CardinalJim Wrote:  
(09-09-2017 10:57 PM)TripleA Wrote:  
(09-08-2017 10:52 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  Can anyone recall for me why the Great Midwest Conference formed?

As I recall the Metro had just lost South Carolina and Florida St but why did Cincinnati and Memphis feel the need to bolt and join the Midwestern Catholic schools and UAB?

Did it have something to do with a feud with Louisville?

I couldn't recall the details, so I asked around at Memphis. Before the Great Midwest, the Metro tried to become a Super Conference:

The Metro was active too, commissioning Raycom in early 1990 to do a study on the viability of adding football to the conference and expanding. Raycom’s report was very encouraging and led the Metro athletic directors to pursue a 16-team “Super Metro” conference in which all 16 teams would play basketball, but “only” 12 would play football. The Super Metro would have included West Virginia, Pitt, Boston College, East Carolina, Syracuse and others with Metro members Cincinnati, Florida State, Louisville, Memphis, South Carolina, Southern Mississippi, Tulane and Virginia Tech. The league that would quickly become a football and financial powerhouse. In May of 1990, Raycom presented their information to the Metro athletic directors during the Metro’s yearly meetings in Destin, Florida. The Metro ADs left the meeting enthused and committed to building the Super Metro.

But the Super Metro concept had a number of problems, other than its obvious unwieldy size: Florida State, one of the lynchpins of the Super Metro, wasn’t interested. During the summer of 1990, FSU was wined and dined by the ACC and the SEC, and despite having pined for SEC membership for years, the Seminoles were impressed enough with the ACC’s presentation that in September of 1990, the Noles announced that they were leaving the Metro to join the ACC as the ninth member of that league, starting in 1991.


http://virginiatech.sportswar.com/articl...1978-1990/

Then So Car went to the SEC. Louisville still wanted to make an all sports conference work, but UC and Memphis could never come to an agreement, b/c UL supposedly insisted on a bigger share of revenues.

So UC and Memphis finally gave up, stayed indy in football, and formed the Great Midwest with DePaul, Marquette, St. Louis and UAB.

The Metro was left with 4 schools, and UL finally joined the GMC in 1995. Then a lot of them eventually morphed into CUSA.

Keep in mind this piece was written from Virginia Tech perspective....

VaTech at the time moved its football to The Big East and wanted to keep its basketball in CUSA. Louisville was one of the programs that said no. Louisville knew as soon as The Big East made room for them in basketball they were gone any way. Forcing them to move their basketball to The A10 instead of letting them squat in CUSA for 5 years has made Louisville the enemy to many VaTech fans, so be it. At the time it was the right thing to do.

Louisville was never a member of The GMC. Louisville went from The Metro to CUSA.

What is often forgotten during these how did we end up here and there discussions is Louisville had an opportunity to join The Big East in 1979 but decided against it because of basketball money. Denny Crum and Bill Olsen felt UofL was better served becoming a big fish in The Metro than jumping to The Big East. Louisville fans spent the next 25 years complaining about this decision. Tom Jurich has said the first question he heard in 1997 was "when are you going to get us into The Big East".

Strange how things work out. The question isn't why didn't The Metro Conference play football. The question is what decision did Louisville make that got it into The ACC that Memphis and Cincinnati didn't make? I believe it was never joining The Great Midwest Conference.
CJ

Louisville decided against Big East in 1979? I don't think so. Louisville did not come up in the discussion for the newly formed BE. Is this a typo? if not where did you hear this?

Yeah, I don't think that's true either, but I wouldn't worry about it. Ninety % of the info in this thread is wrong. It's the old "I saw it on the internet" B.S.
Old rumors seem to become facts.
09-10-2017 06:27 PM
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BigOwensboroCard Offline
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Post: #31
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
Well two things are of certain facts I assure you. 1 being FSU and Coach Bobby Bowden didn't Like the idea of giving up his national schedule to play the likes of Louisville, and Cincinnati etc. 2 Louisville and Denny Crum didn't want to lose out on all the money they had made in credits that were to be reimbursed for once they left that money goes away. So those two reason there are fact and you can ask anyone. I do think if the Metro could have become a FB conference with the like of everyone that was mentioned along with Penn State they would be right up there with the SEC and BigTen in making money etc.
09-10-2017 08:19 PM
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TripleA Offline
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Post: #32
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
(09-10-2017 08:19 PM)BigOwensboroCard Wrote:  Well two things are of certain facts I assure you. 1 being FSU and Coach Bobby Bowden didn't Like the idea of giving up his national schedule to play the likes of Louisville, and Cincinnati etc. 2 Louisville and Denny Crum didn't want to lose out on all the money they had made in credits that were to be reimbursed for once they left that money goes away. So those two reason there are fact and you can ask anyone. I do think if the Metro could have become a FB conference with the like of everyone that was mentioned along with Penn State they would be right up there with the SEC and BigTen in making money etc.

I agree with those two points, as well. FSU and Louisville were unhappy with various revenue aspects, for different reasons, and the Super Metro never became a reality, and schools went several different directions.
09-10-2017 09:16 PM
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Post: #33
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
(09-09-2017 09:11 AM)chargeradio Wrote:  About the same time, UAB was leaving a dying Sun Belt, one that ironically was saved by a merger with the American South Conference, which included former member New Orleans. The Sun Belt also lost UNCC, VCU, ODU, and USF in 1991; all but ODU went to the Metro.

DePaul was independent, so obviously joining a conference, especially one with good basketball programs was right up their alley.

I'm not sure what prompted Marquette and Saint Louis to leave the MCC (now the Horizon League), as the MCC only had nine schools during their tenure.

Cincinnati and Memphis leaving the Metro for the Great Midwest looks puzzling in hindsight, as it did nothing for their football programs, which remained independent. I guess as in the case of Saint Louis and Marquette, it improved their ability to access the NCAA tournament, but that probably could have been accomplished by the Metro re-adding Saint Louis, and adding Marquette.

Had the mass exodus not occurred out of the Sun Belt, this might have been the Metro in 1991:

Louisville
Virginia Tech
Tulane
Southern Miss
Cincinnati (never joined Great Midwest)
Memphis (never joined Great Midwest)
DePaul
Marquette
Saint Louis

Houston would have likely still joined the Metro in 1996 after the Southwest Conference disbanded, giving the Metro seven members for football. Eventually East Carolina (initially football only), South Florida, TCU, UAB, and Army (football only) get added. Virginia Tech still leaves for the Big East.

If the American South could have survived to 2000, it likely takes in the remnants of Big West football, until the WAC adds Idaho, New Mexico State, and Utah State in 2005. That move likely forces the Sun Belt/American South merger that happened in 1991. The Sun Belt would have likely lost Charlotte in 2005 to the Atlantic 10 along with Saint Louis of the Metro.

How was the "Sun Belt dying"?
No one had left other than New Orleans and Georgia State.

Without the Great Midwest forming, the Metro wouldn't have raided.
09-10-2017 10:05 PM
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arkstfan Away
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Post: #34
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
(09-10-2017 10:55 AM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 10:30 AM)Kittonhead Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 10:06 AM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 09:54 AM)Kittonhead Wrote:  
(09-09-2017 08:26 AM)58-56 Wrote:  Gene Bartow's frustration with the Sun Belt.

The old Sun Belt (only South Alabama is still there) was a very good basketball conference in those days, putting two or three teams in what was then a smaller NCAA field every year (UAB, ODU, VCU, WKU were all good). They had a CBS (real over-the-air CBS) game of the week, and a UAB dancer (my ex) was the opening shot for their pre-game show before every NCAA game. But some programs made what Gene considered no effort, and others did not want to make the investments to step up the conference.

Gene was tight with Ray Meyer at DePaul, and they hatched the plan. Gene was also revered in Memphis. He was the glue holding together seemingly very different institutions. He believed the conference needed DePaul (still a national program then), Louisville and Notre Dame to succeed, or at least two of the three.

So the SBC had an OTA CBS game of the week? How did they manage to score something like that?

Because back then the Sun Belt was a serious basketball league. UAB went to the NCAAs for 7 straight years in the 80s, Western KEntucky went 4 times in the 80s, UNCC had gone to the Sweet 16 in 1977, VCU went 5 years out of 6 (with Charles Oakley).

What years did they have the deal? Was the SBC formed with the CBS OTA or did it come after a few years?

Wait, I just read closely and noticed we're talking about a Sun Belt "game of the week". That sounds off-base, to me. This was also (mostly) before the Supreme Court case breaking the NCAA monopoly on TV games in football, so I really doubt that there was a Sun Belt OTA national game every week.

I read it as Sun Belt having a handful of games a year on CBS. That I totally buy--Sun Belt was one of the top 10 leagues, and I suspect everyone was still operating under the NCAA TV rules that limited your appearances per year in football. So logically, if I'm CBS, I fill my slate with ACC, Big EAst, Big Ten, KAnsas, KEntucky and UCLA games, and then start moving down the food chain to Metro, Sun Belt, SWC, lesser SEC, Pac-10, Big 8 games, etc.

EDIT: Maybe it was a syndicated Sun Belt game-of-the-week than ran on the CBS station in Birmingham?

Basketball game. There was no NCAA TV contract for hoops.
09-10-2017 10:09 PM
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arkstfan Away
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Post: #35
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
The thing about the Super Metro is by rejecting it, Louisville actually hurt their aspirations in the short-term.
No Florida State and South Carolina were not going to be part of the Super Metro as soon as they had choices.
BUT the Big East wasn't enthusiastic about adding football and stayed out of it all until the Super Metro talks collapsed.

Louisville, Cincinnati, ECU, Memphis and Tulane would have been in the Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance and then the BCS.
Big East would likely have evolved into something like what it is now 10 or 15 years sooner.
09-10-2017 10:21 PM
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solohawks Offline
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Post: #36
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
(09-10-2017 10:21 PM)arkstfan Wrote:  The thing about the Super Metro is by rejecting it, Louisville actually hurt their aspirations in the short-term.
No Florida State and South Carolina were not going to be part of the Super Metro as soon as they had choices.
BUT the Big East wasn't enthusiastic about adding football and stayed out of it all until the Super Metro talks collapsed.

Louisville, Cincinnati, ECU, Memphis and Tulane would have been in the Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance and then the BCS.
Big East would likely have evolved into something like what it is now 10 or 15 years sooner.

Super metro could have likely gotten the Big East members to be football only affiliates. I believe you only needed 6 full members back then not the 8 you have to have now
09-10-2017 10:40 PM
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Post: #37
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
(09-10-2017 10:40 PM)solohawks Wrote:  Super metro could have likely gotten the Big East members to be football only affiliates. I believe you only needed 6 full members back then not the 8 you have to have now

That's what was supposed to happen. The Memphis Commercial Appeal even had an article noting that Memphis and Louisville were going to only play once per year in hoops due to the North/South divisions. The three Big East schools (Boston College, Pitt, Syracuse) were going to be indeed be football-only in the Super Metro.

The Metro (then 8) would be going to 12 via adding Miami and three then A-10 schools (Rutgers, Temple, West Virginia). East Carolina was going to be football-only with other sports remaining in the CAA. For non-football, it listed the following:
North: Rutgers, Temple, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, Louisville
South: Tulane, Southern Miss, Florida State, Miami, Memphis, South Carolina

Of course, it would not have lasted very long.
09-10-2017 11:18 PM
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megadrone Offline
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Post: #38
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
(09-10-2017 11:18 PM)MemTGRS Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 10:40 PM)solohawks Wrote:  Super metro could have likely gotten the Big East members to be football only affiliates. I believe you only needed 6 full members back then not the 8 you have to have now

That's what was supposed to happen. The Memphis Commercial Appeal even had an article noting that Memphis and Louisville were going to only play once per year in hoops due to the North/South divisions. The three Big East schools (Boston College, Pitt, Syracuse) were going to be indeed be football-only in the Super Metro.

The Metro (then 8) would be going to 12 via adding Miami and three then A-10 schools (Rutgers, Temple, West Virginia). East Carolina was going to be football-only with other sports remaining in the CAA. For non-football, it listed the following:
North: Rutgers, Temple, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, Louisville
South: Tulane, Southern Miss, Florida State, Miami, Memphis, South Carolina

Of course, it would not have lasted very long.

Who knows? If FSU and Miami stayed in with Virginia Tech, West Virginia and other Southern schools, it could have lasted. Miami might not have had the same frustrations with the Metro that it had with the Big East. Other than Rutgers, Temple and Cincinnati, it's a southern conference.
09-11-2017 08:22 AM
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MU88 Offline
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Post: #39
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
(09-09-2017 08:26 AM)58-56 Wrote:  Gene was tight with Ray Meyer at DePaul, and they hatched the plan. Gene was also revered in Memphis. He was the glue holding together seemingly very different institutions. He believed the conference needed DePaul (still a national program then), Louisville and Notre Dame to succeed, or at least two of the three.

Many feuds with Louisville began in those talks. Louisville wanted a double share. The Great Midwest-Metro merger talks that formed CUSA1.0 were pretty nasty too (Lousiville tried again for a double share, and insisted on kicking out VCU and VaTech; UAB too but they lost on that one). Yes, once upon a time CUSA paid VaTech and VCU to go away. Nothing is constant except change.

This isn't true. UAB was a late, and somewhat surprising addition, to the GMC. Around 1990-91, Marquette, DePaul, and ND started working with UC, UL and Memphis to form a new conference. DePaul and ND realized they needed a men's bball conference and MU was pretty unhappy in the MCC. ND was in the MCC for all sports but football and men's basketball. In addition, MU and ND's women's sports all were in the North Star Conference together in the mid-80s. It was Al McGuire who used to say that you needed 3 out of 4 (MU, ND, DePaul and Louisville) to have a successful, major midwestern based conference.

ND and UL backed out, so they were replaced by SLU and UAB. There were months and months of speculation in the local media about the formation of the conference with ND and UL being members. It was a pretty big surprise that it didn't happen. Of course, ND eventually went on to join the BE in 1995. Later did I learn that from MU's AD that MU was anticipating joining the BE with the football schools in 1991, but St. John's did a last minute flip-flop. But, that is another story.

When ND backed out, Louisville decided to stay in the Metro. No proof, but the rumor was that UL thought it's program was better off dominating a conference like UNLV was doing in the Big West versus joining the GMC. There were other rumors about UC and UM cutting out UL, who they regarded as a pain in the butt. (CUSA did threaten to kick UL out in the late 90s, so there is some basis for this rumor.) In any event Dayton was later added at the request of MU and DePaul. MU, Dayton and DePaul (along with ND) had played home-home series throughout the 80s. So, I think MU and DePaul felt a sense of loyalty to Dayton. However, adding Dayton was huge mistake, as their program was completely overwhelmed in the GMC. So much so, that they were the only GMC left out when CUSA was formed.
09-11-2017 10:34 AM
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Post: #40
RE: Why did the Great Midwest Conference form?
(09-10-2017 11:18 PM)MemTGRS Wrote:  
(09-10-2017 10:40 PM)solohawks Wrote:  Super metro could have likely gotten the Big East members to be football only affiliates. I believe you only needed 6 full members back then not the 8 you have to have now

That's what was supposed to happen. The Memphis Commercial Appeal even had an article noting that Memphis and Louisville were going to only play once per year in hoops due to the North/South divisions. The three Big East schools (Boston College, Pitt, Syracuse) were going to be indeed be football-only in the Super Metro.

The Metro (then 8) would be going to 12 via adding Miami and three then A-10 schools (Rutgers, Temple, West Virginia). East Carolina was going to be football-only with other sports remaining in the CAA. For non-football, it listed the following:
North: Rutgers, Temple, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, Louisville
South: Tulane, Southern Miss, Florida State, Miami, Memphis, South Carolina

Of course, it would not have lasted very long.

Early renditions included Penn State instead of whom I assume to be East Carolina. My guess is then Virginia Tech would have been in the South.
09-11-2017 01:55 PM
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