Last week due to all of the discussion regarding Louisville’s flight to the ACC in 2014, I took a look at the school’s conference history as well as their future; analyzing their moves to the Metro Conference, Conference USA, the Big East and of course the ACC.
However, I felt it only right to look at some of the conferences that a couple other area schools have called home beginning with the University of Kentucky, who initially were in the Southern Conference. Despite no longer existing the Southern Conference was just that a powerhouse athletic conference fielding members all around the southern part of the U.S.
However, thirteen members from this conference flew the coup so to speak in 1932, forming the South Eastern Conference or SEC. Along with Kentucky the founding members of the conference included Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, The University of the South (now in the Division III Southern Athletic Association), Georgia Institute of Technology (currently in the ACC), and Tulane (currently in Conference USA). Arkansas and South Carolina would show up in 1990, while most recently Texas A&M joined the conference in 2012.
Despite being firmly planted in the SEC in all athletics since the 1930’s Kentucky does currently play men’s soccer in Conference USA.
Meanwhile, Western Kentucky was a founding member Ohio Valley Conference in 1948, which was begun by three Kentucky universities who were attempting to build a regional conference, and despite being put on hold after its initial inception in 1941 due to war the conference flourished then and continues to. The Hilltoppers called the OVC home until 1982, when the team made its way to the Sun Belt Conference.
On the other side of the state, Western’s sworn Rival, Eastern Kentucky was also among the founding members of the OVC as well, a conference where the Colonels still are and are considered elder statesmen and women of the conference of sorts.
Finally, the Indiana Hoosiers who joined the oldest athletic conference in 1899 when they became members of what was then called the Big Nine. Previously the organization had been referred to as the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives and the Western Conference. Not too long after that though the conference became the Big Ten unofficially, still holding on to the way to long to fit on a T-shirt conference name relating to the Faculty Representatives until 1987 officially.
Currently, the Big Ten is well, everybody knows about the current Big Ten, it’s doing pretty well.