The Big Eight Conference was created in 1980 when seven members of the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference (Boonville, Jasper, Mount Vernon, Princeton, Tell City, Vincennes Lincoln, and Washington) left to form a new conference with a member of the Pocket Athletic Conference (Gibson Southern). Gibson Southern left in 1992 to rejoin the PAC and Tell City followed in 2001 also to rejoin the PAC, reducing the Big Eight to six members. Mount Carmel joined in 2003 to increase the membership to seven. Currently Mount Carmel, located in Illinois, is the only school from outside Indiana to compete in an Indiana athletic conference. There is at least one other Illinois school, Lawrenceville, that is exploring the possibility of becoming the conference's eighth member.