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Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
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Fighting Muskie Offline
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Post: #1
Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a conference whose line up was as geographically diverse and ever revolving door of members.

Anyone have any insight as to why they never could seem to keep things together and build a cohesive FBS football conference?

Note, we’re not talking about the MVFC here.
09-10-2020 01:16 PM
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Captain Bearcat Offline
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RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
I don't know much about MVC football.

But MVC basketball was a Major Conference for most of that time. From 1945 - 1979, the MVC won 4 national titles and had 16 Final Four appearances. Only the PAC and the SEC had more national titles over that timespan.

Most Final Fours from 1945-1979:
35 - Independents (17 Eastern, 8 Midwestern, 5 Southern, 5 Western)
20 - Big Ten
19 - PAC / AAWU / PCC
16 - Missouri Valley
12 - ACC
11 - Big 6/7/8
8 - SEC
6 - Southwest
3 - Southern
3 - West Coast
2 - Ivy
1 each - WAC, Sun Belt, OVC, Mountain States, Middle Atlantic
09-10-2020 02:39 PM
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CliftonAve Offline
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RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
The MVC was originally a split off of the old MVIAA. Some of the teams went to form what became the Big 8 (now Big XII) and some started the MVC. Overtime, urban schools that were basketball-centric were added to the league. Some of the schools in the conference did not even have football so they added New Mexico State, North Texas and West Texas State. Cincinnati, Louisville and Memphis grew weary of all the travel expenses and they wanted to play more regional opponents so they left.
09-10-2020 02:51 PM
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Fighting Muskie Offline
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RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
I get the impression that basketball was the priority for most of those years and that football was an afterthought that they barely kept afloat.
09-10-2020 08:35 PM
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bullet Offline
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RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
When the MVC expanded to 12 in the early 70s they were calling it the first superconference. But it quickly broke up and had to refill from Division II.
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2020 12:31 AM by bullet.)
09-11-2020 12:30 AM
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bill dazzle Offline
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RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
Our family has a deceased friend who once officiated football games for the MVC.

The MVC hoops in the 1950s and 1960s were topnotch. And to Fighting Muskie's point, the Valley likely always prioritized hoops.
09-12-2020 08:04 AM
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DFW HOYA Offline
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RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
Where would Drake be as a program had they stayed with Valley football?
(This post was last modified: 09-12-2020 08:37 AM by DFW HOYA.)
09-12-2020 08:36 AM
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DFW HOYA Offline
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RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
(09-10-2020 01:16 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a conference whose line up was as geographically diverse and ever revolving door of members.
Anyone have any insight as to why they never could seem to keep things together and build a cohesive FBS football conference?

Distance and diversity.

There was little money in football in those days beyond ticket sales and the schools didn't have much in common. But the travel was severe in some cases. Look at the 1971 conference lineup, for example:

Drake
Louisville
Memphis
North Texas State (Denton, TX)
Tulsa
West Texas State (Canyon, TX)
Wichita State

Louisville to Canyon? 1,032 miles...by bus. Not a lot of flights to the Panhandle in 1971.
(This post was last modified: 09-12-2020 08:46 AM by DFW HOYA.)
09-12-2020 08:43 AM
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IWokeUpLikeThis Offline
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RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
(09-12-2020 08:36 AM)DFW HOYA Wrote:  Where would Drake be as a program had they stayed with Valley football?

Having seen Drake’s stadium, I don’t think anything would’ve come of them lol.

They barely have enough parking for basketball (most park in the neighborhood streets). Parking would’ve been unviable for 18k.

Drake’s like 2 miles from downtown, so you can’t really park downtown and walk over. Not much room to grow with the neighborhood.
09-12-2020 09:01 AM
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RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
(09-11-2020 12:30 AM)bullet Wrote:  When the MVC expanded to 12 in the early 70s they were calling it the first superconference. But it quickly broke up and had to refill from Division II.

It doesn't look like the MVC ever had more than 10 members, with the exception of 1994-95 and '95-96 seasons, when they had 11. They had at most 10 in the early '70s, of which only 8 played football.
(This post was last modified: 09-12-2020 09:20 AM by Nerdlinger.)
09-12-2020 09:13 AM
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RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
I did come up with an alternate history scenario wherein the MVC retains football past 1986, albeit at the I-AA level.

(03-09-2019 10:52 PM)Nerdlinger Wrote:  Revised scenario! I have just learned that Creighton and Bradley were invited to the Midwest City/Collegiate Conference (now the Horizon League in our timeline) in 1985, but Creighton's declining put the kibosh on it. Here let's say it happens! Several MVC schools act in the same manner as in our timeline: West Texas leaves the MVC in 1986, Tulsa football goes I-A independent, Wichita State goes I-A independent briefly before dropping football, and Drake stops offering FB scholarships and goes independent before joining the Pioneer League in 1991. Due to the MVC's need for FB schools, Northern Iowa and Southwest Missouri join earlier than in our timeline, and Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois are invited.

MVC 1987 (I-AA)
Full: Eastern Illinois, Illinois State, Indiana State, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, Southwest Missouri, Western Illinois
NFB: Drake, Tulsa, Wichita State

MCC 1987
NFB: Bradley, Butler, Creighton, Dayton, Detroit, Evansville, Loyola-Chicago, Notre Dame, St. Louis, Xavier

AMCU 1987
NFB: Akron, Cleveland State, Green Bay, Northern Illinois, UIC, Valparaiso, Wright State, Youngstown State

~~~~~~

The MCC would soon add DePaul and Marquette, while the AMCU/Mid-Con (renamed in 1989) adds Milwaukee. In the '90s, Akron and NIU leave the Mid-Con for the MAC. The Mid-Con staunches the bleeding with the additions of Buffalo (leaves in 1998), Chicago State, Northeastern Illinois (athletics disbanded in 1998), UMKC, and, later, IUPUI and Oakland. Drake is picked by the MCC to replace Notre Dame after the Irish leave for the Big East in 1995. In the mid-'90s, Tulsa leaves the MVC for the WAC as in our timeline, but with the focus of the MVC on FB over BB, they are replaced by Youngstown State, and Evansville remains in the MCC.

MVC 1998 (I-AA)
Full: Eastern Illinois, Illinois State, Indiana State, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, Southwest Missouri, Western Illinois, Youngstown State
NFB: Wichita State

MCC 1998
NFB: Bradley, Butler, Creighton, Dayton, DePaul, Detroit, Drake, Evansville, Loyola-Chicago, Marquette, St. Louis, Xavier

Mid-Con 1998
NFB: Chicago State, Cleveland State, Green Bay, IUPUI, Milwaukee, Oakland, UIC, UMKC, Valparaiso, Wright State

~~~~~~

In 2005, DePaul and Marquette defect to the Big East, and the MCC recruits Valparaiso from the Mid-Con. Chicago State leaves the Mid-Con in 2006 (and would later end up dropping down to the DII GLVC due to financial problems). In 2007, NDSU and SDSU join the newly renamed Summit League for non-football sports and the MVC as FB affiliates, followed 2 years later by UND and USD.

MVC 2009 (FCS)
East: Eastern Illinois, Illinois State, Indiana State, Southern Illinois, Western Illinois, Youngstown State
West: Missouri State, North Dakota*, North Dakota State*, Northern Iowa, South Dakota*, South Dakota State*
NFB: Wichita State

* = FB only. The divisions are only for football scheduling, as there is no CCG.

MCC 2009
NFB: Bradley, Butler, Creighton, Dayton, Detroit, Drake, Evansville, Loyola-Chicago, St. Louis, Valparaiso, Xavier

Summit 2009
NFB: Cleveland State, Green Bay, IUPUI, Milwaukee, North Dakota, North Dakota State, Oakland, South Dakota, South Dakota State, UIC, UMKC, Wright State

~~~~~~

The 2013 departures of Butler, Creighton, and Xavier to the Big East are devastating to the MCC, which reluctantly strays outside its Midwestern footprint and adds Belmont. To keep the number of Catholic and non-Catholic schools even, the conference resorts to inviting the A-10's Duquesne, which politely declines. Wichita State defects from the MVC to the AAC in 2017. Rumors of the 4 Dakota schools taking their football out of the MVC and joining with some Big Sky schools to form a "Great Northern Conference" spook the MVC, which responds by offering full membership to the Dakota schools. The Summit picks up Fort Wayne and Omaha to compensate. The MCC finally finds a 10th member (and a Catholic one) when St. Thomas is booted up from DIII. Thus by the present, we have this:

MVC 2020 (FCS)
East: Eastern Illinois, Illinois State, Indiana State, Southern Illinois, Western Illinois, Youngstown State
West: Missouri State, North Dakota, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, South Dakota, South Dakota State

MCC 2020
NFB: Belmont, Bradley, Dayton, Detroit, Drake, Evansville, Loyola-Chicago, St. Louis, St. Thomas, Valparaiso

Summit 2020
NFB: Cleveland State, Fort Wayne, Green Bay, IUPUI, Milwaukee, Oakland, Omaha, UIC, UMKC, Wright State

Incidentally:

A-12 2020
NFB: Davidson, Duquesne, Fordham, George Mason, George Washington, La Salle, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Richmond, St. Bonaventure, St. Joseph's, VCU

A-Sun 2020
NFB: Bellarmine, FGCU, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Liberty, Lipscomb, North Alabama, North Florida, Northern Kentucky, Stetson

OVC 2020
Full: Austin Peay, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Murray State, Southeast Missouri, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, Tennessee-Martin
NFB: Morehead State, SIU Edwardsville

Pioneer 2020
FB: Butler, Davidson, Dayton, Drake, Marist, Morehead State, Presbyterian, San Diego, St. Thomas, Stetson, Valparaiso

WAC 2020
NFB: Cal Baptist, Denver, Dixie State, Grand Canyon, New Mexico State, Oral Roberts, Seattle, Tarleton State, Utah Valley, UTRGV
(This post was last modified: 09-15-2020 10:56 AM by Nerdlinger.)
09-12-2020 09:33 AM
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johnintx Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
(09-10-2020 01:16 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a conference whose line up was as geographically diverse and ever revolving door of members.

Anyone have any insight as to why they never could seem to keep things together and build a cohesive FBS football conference?

Note, we’re not talking about the MVFC here.

Growing up in Oklahoma, I was very familiar with the Missouri Valley because that was Tulsa's conference. Oklahoma State was still in it until 1958, as they were left behind when the Big 6 split off. I was not alive then. :-)

I do remember, however, schools such as Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis State, North Texas State, West Texas State, and New Mexico State being part of the conference. The constants were Tulsa, Wichita State, Drake, Creighton (non-FB), and Bradley (non-FB). Illinois State, Southern Illinois, and Indiana State came along after Louisville, Memphis State, Cincinnati, and North Texas State left.

I remember that New Mexico State was still in the conference during the Larry Bird era. Yes, Indiana State vs. New Mexico State was a conference game in 1979. Terre Haute to Las Cruces, home and home...how's that for a road trip?

I didn't know much about the politics and the reasons why the MVC was like it was, but I thought it was crazy that they had all these schools playing football at a lower level, while Tulsa and Wichita State were members trying to play Division I-A. Wichita State later dropped football in 1986. Tulsa has always tried to play football at the highest level possible, and has been proud of it. (They were excited to become part of the CFA, perhaps the only school to have the CFA logo in their end zone..that symbolized to them that they were big time) They have moved from the MVC to D-1 independent to the WAC (the post-SWC version) to C-USA to the AAC. Some may think they're playing over their heads in the AAC, but they've always played at as high a level as possible.

Drake is the only charter member left. Bradley would not come along until 1948.
(This post was last modified: 09-12-2020 01:58 PM by johnintx.)
09-12-2020 11:00 AM
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RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
Nice post, johnintx.

I went to Bradley and got to watch Larry Bird ply his trade for Indiana State on several occasions. Did you know he scored the fewest number of points in a game in his collegiate or pro career against the Braves? Bradley held him to 4 points his senior year in the game at Peoria. Unfortunately for BU, Carl Nix, a guard from East St. Louis, Illinois had a career night, as he poured in 31 points! ISU won the game handily, 91-72 en route to its unbeaten regular season.

During my sophomore year, Bradley lost a home game against New Mexico State in double overtime, 117-109. The basketball used in the contest ended up in the College Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Why? Because the Braves got out to an insane 28-0 lead on the Aggies before NMSU scored a point! It was the largest deficit a team overcame to start a game...talk about embarrassing for the alma mater! Not surprisingly, Bradley finished the season 9-17.

As for football, Bradley sponsored the sport, but dropped it after the 1970 season. I'm not sure how many years the Braves played on the gridiron, but I seem to recall they took up the sport in the early 1920's. You can't find any evidence of a football team on the school's athletic website now, but I have an old Almanac from 1968, which shows scores from many football schools for the 1967 season. Here's what the BU schedule looked like then as the Braves went 3-6-1:

L--Central Michigan 23-21
T--Evansville 13-13
W--Western Illinois 21-13
L--SE Missouri 19-0
L--Northern Illinois 29-13
W--Eastern Illinois 20-12
L--Akron 42-12
L--Hillsdale 19-0
L--Wisconsin-Milwaukee 21-18
W--Illinois State 14-0
09-12-2020 11:30 AM
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texoma Offline
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RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
I agree with Johintx and Clifton's comments. I am speaking of historical events that happened before my time so take it fwiw.. If I remember the history correctly, around 1920 the MVC included Oklahoma, Oklahoma A&M, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Kansas State and maybe Iowa State among others at different times. A little known fact is OU was a charter member of the SWC before joining the MVC.

I am not sure when Tulsa, Wichita, Bradley, Drake etc joined the MVC.

In the every early 1920's Oklahoma, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa State pulled out and formed the Big6 conference, which added Colorado around 1950 and finally OSU in 1958 to become the Big8. Oklahoma A&M was left behind and resented OU for doing it. However, Bud Wilkinson and OU led the effort to get Oklahoma State admitted to the Big7.

As previously mentioned after the big state schools left the MVC it became primarily a metro basketball conference with great basketball success, but little football success. .
(This post was last modified: 09-12-2020 02:38 PM by texoma.)
09-12-2020 02:13 PM
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RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
According to the timeline in Wikipedia, the conference was formed in 1907 by Drake, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Washington (St Louis). Kansas State joined in 1917, Grinnell joined in 1918, Oklahoma in 1919, and Oklahoma A&M joined in 1925.

The Big 6 (Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa State, and Oklahoma) split in 1928.

Creighton joined in 1928, left in 1948, rejoined in 1976, and left in 2013.
Tulsa joined in 1934, and stayed until 1996.
Wichita State joined in 1945, and stayed until 2017.
Bradley joined in 1948.

Other former members include Butler (1932-34), Washburn (1935-43), Saint Louis (1937-74), Detroit (1949-57), Houston (1951-60), Cincinnati (1957-70), North Texas State (1957-75), Louisville (1963-75), Memphis State (1968-73), New Mexico State (1970-83), and West Texas State (1970-86).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_V...Conference

To answer the original question: There is barely room in the middle of the country for one FBS conference. There is not the population or recruiting base to support it. In the days of the Big 8, they were the big-time conference. The MVC in its history has also occupied territory of the B1G, SEC, and SWC. Market factors forced the combination of the Big 8 and SWC into the Big 12.

The legacy of the exit of the flagships and land-grants to form the Big 6/7/8 is that the MVC has been a conference of urban private/public schools and legacy public normal schools. That makes for a traditionally good basketball conference, but an inconsistent football conference.
09-12-2020 04:27 PM
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RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
(09-12-2020 09:13 AM)Nerdlinger Wrote:  
(09-11-2020 12:30 AM)bullet Wrote:  When the MVC expanded to 12 in the early 70s they were calling it the first superconference. But it quickly broke up and had to refill from Division II.

It doesn't look like the MVC ever had more than 10 members, with the exception of 1994-95 and '95-96 seasons, when they had 11. They had at most 10 in the early '70s, of which only 8 played football.

They expanded to 12. Now it may be that Louisville and a couple others left before the new teams became full members. It was 12 for basketball, not for football.
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RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
Memphis St. left in 73. Louisville, St. Louis and North Texas left in 74.
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RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
(09-12-2020 05:21 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(09-12-2020 09:13 AM)Nerdlinger Wrote:  
(09-11-2020 12:30 AM)bullet Wrote:  When the MVC expanded to 12 in the early 70s they were calling it the first superconference. But it quickly broke up and had to refill from Division II.

It doesn't look like the MVC ever had more than 10 members, with the exception of 1994-95 and '95-96 seasons, when they had 11. They had at most 10 in the early '70s, of which only 8 played football.

They expanded to 12. Now it may be that Louisville and a couple others left before the new teams became full members. It was 12 for basketball, not for football.

OK, so they had 12 members, just not at the same time.
09-12-2020 05:24 PM
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RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
(09-12-2020 08:43 AM)DFW HOYA Wrote:  
(09-10-2020 01:16 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a conference whose line up was as geographically diverse and ever revolving door of members.
Anyone have any insight as to why they never could seem to keep things together and build a cohesive FBS football conference?

Distance and diversity.

There was little money in football in those days beyond ticket sales and the schools didn't have much in common. But the travel was severe in some cases. Look at the 1971 conference lineup, for example:

Drake
Louisville
Memphis
North Texas State (Denton, TX)
Tulsa
West Texas State (Canyon, TX)
Wichita State

Louisville to Canyon? 1,032 miles...by bus. Not a lot of flights to the Panhandle in 1971.

Actually, there were probably more airline connections in the Panhandle in 1971 than now. Airfares were probably more expensive because airfares were still regulated by the Federal Government in 1971. At least, the fares were more expensive on the flights I took back then, and I was flying Military standby. 04-cheers The Airline industry was regulated until 1978. Regulations included routes, flights and fares. Most of the airline industry consolidation by merger hadn't occurred yet. There were some mergers, but most occurred after 1971.

In 1971, it looks like Amarillo was served by TWA, Braniff, Continental, Delta, and future Continental owner Trans-Texas Airways /Texas International. There may have not been direct flights to some of the places, but planes flew to and from Amarillo to Denver, Dallas, and Houston among others back then.
(This post was last modified: 09-12-2020 05:59 PM by LUSportsFan.)
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RE: Why do you know about MVC football? (1928-1986 version)
(09-12-2020 05:24 PM)Nerdlinger Wrote:  
(09-12-2020 05:21 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(09-12-2020 09:13 AM)Nerdlinger Wrote:  
(09-11-2020 12:30 AM)bullet Wrote:  When the MVC expanded to 12 in the early 70s they were calling it the first superconference. But it quickly broke up and had to refill from Division II.

It doesn't look like the MVC ever had more than 10 members, with the exception of 1994-95 and '95-96 seasons, when they had 11. They had at most 10 in the early '70s, of which only 8 played football.

They expanded to 12. Now it may be that Louisville and a couple others left before the new teams became full members. It was 12 for basketball, not for football.

OK, so they had 12 members, just not at the same time.

They intended to get to 12. They weren't expecting those 4 to leave.
09-12-2020 07:15 PM
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