The Metropolitan Intercollegiate 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 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,... Read More