Missouri Valley Conference football

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Missouri Valley Conference football
(MVC)
Established 1907
Dissolved 1985
Association NCAA
Division Division I-A
Division I-AA
Members 7 (final), 29 (total)
Sports fielded 1 (football) (men's: 1; women's: 0)
Region Midwest
Locations
Missouri Valley Conference football locations

This is a page on the history of Missouri Valley Conference football. The Missouri Valley Conference sponsored football from 1907 through the 1985 school year. The conference voted to drop football as a sport on April 30, 1985. At the time the Conference was a mixture of NCAA division I programs (Tulsa and Wichita State) and NCAA division I-AA programs (Drake, Illinois State, Indiana State, Southern Illinois, and West Texas State).[1]

History[edit]

Houston's 1952 Missouri Valley Conference championship trophy

The Missouri Valley Conference started sponsoring football in the fall of 1907. In 1951 Drake University and Bradley University left the Missouri Valley Conference as a result of the Johnny Bright incident, a racially motivated on-field attack against Drake's black star Johnny Bright by a white Oklahoma A&M player.[2][3] Both schools returned to the MVC for non-football sports several years later (Bradley in 1955 and Drake in 1956), but Bradley never rejoined for football (dropping the sport in 1970), and Drake didn't rejoin in football until 1971.[4] Washburn University competed in football from 1935 through 1940.[5] Saint Louis University dropped football after the 1949 season.[6][7]

By the late 1960s, rising costs for football meant that basketball could no longer help subsidize football programs. According to a 2017 story in The Wichita Eagle, "The MVC looked west to find football and alienated its basketball powers." The first schools brought in during this period were New Mexico State and West Texas State (now West Texas A&M),[8] respectively joining in 1970[9] and 1971;[10] the conference also established a tie-in with the now-defunct Pasadena Bowl.[8]

The new additions almost immediately led to conflict between several established members and the conference office. Cincinnati, Louisville, and Memphis State (now Memphis) complained about travel costs, and Memphis State was bitterly opposed to a full round-robin conference schedule, wishing to play more games within its region.[8] All three schools left the MVC within a four-year period in the 1970s—Cincinnati in 1971, Memphis State in 1973, and Louisville in 1975. At the time of Memphis State's departure, Bradley's then-athletic director publicly said, "We sort of pushed Memphis out. They didn’t want to play everybody in football and we said that they must." These were not the only departures from the conference during this period; non-football member Saint Louis left in 1974, wishing to compete with urban basketball-focused schools like itself, and North Texas State (now North Texas) went independent in 1975 due to a desire for more scheduling flexibility.[8] The MVC attempted to reload by adding Southern Illinois (1974 for non-football sports, 1977 for football), Indiana State (1976), and Illinois State (1980 for non-football sports, 1981 for football).[11][8] The two schools whose arrival led to this instability would themselves leave in the 1980s—New Mexico State left after the 1982 season,[9] and West Texas State left after the conference's final football season of 1985.[10]

On December 5, 2006 the Missouri Valley Conference released its All-Centennial team.[12]

Membership timeline[edit]

This membership timeline reflects only Missouri Valley Conference football, not the Missouri Valley Conference as a whole.

Illinois State  University Indiana State University Southern Illinois  University Carbondale West Texas A&M  University New Mexico State University University of Memphis University of Louisville University of North Texas University of Cincinnati University of Houston University of Detroit Mercy Bradley University Wichita State  University Saint Louis University Washburn University University of Tulsa Butler University Creighton  University Oklahoma State University–Stillwater University of Oklahoma Grinnell College Kansas State University Iowa State University Drake University Washington University in St. Louis University of Nebraska University of Missouri University of Kansas University of Iowa

Champions by year[edit]

Season Champion
1907 Iowa & Nebraska
1908 Kansas
1909 Missouri
1910 Nebraska
1911 Iowa State & Nebraska
1912 Iowa State & Nebraska
1913 Missouri & Nebraska
1914 Nebraska
1915 Nebraska
1916 Nebraska
1917 Nebraska
1918 No Champion[13]
1919 Missouri
1920 Oklahoma
1921 Nebraska
1922 Nebraska
1923 Nebraska
1924 Missouri
1925 Missouri
1926 Oklahoma A&M
1927 Missouri
1928 Drake
1929 Drake
1930 Drake & Oklahoma A&M
1931 Drake
1932 Oklahoma A&M
1933 Oklahoma A&M
1934 Washington (MO)
1935 Tulsa & Washington (MO)
1936 Creighton & Tulsa
1937 Tulsa
1938 Tulsa
1939 Washington (MO)
1940 Tulsa
1941 Tulsa
1942 Tulsa
1943 Tulsa
1944 Oklahoma A&M
1945 Oklahoma A&M
1946 Tulsa
1947 Tulsa
1948 Oklahoma A&M
1949 Detroit
1950 Tulsa
1951 Tulsa
1952 Houston
1953 Detroit & Oklahoma A&M
1954 Wichita State
1955 Detroit & Wichita State
1956 Houston
1957 Houston
1958 North Texas State
1959 Houston & North Texas State
1960 Wichita State
1961 Wichita State
1962 Tulsa
1963 Cincinnati & Wichita State
1964 Cincinnati
1965 Tulsa
1966 North Texas State & Tulsa
1967 North Texas State
1968 Memphis State
1969 Memphis State
1970 Louisville
1971 North Texas State & Memphis State
1972 Drake, Louisville, & West Texas State
1973 North Texas State & Tulsa
1974 Tulsa
1975 Tulsa
1976 New Mexico State & Tulsa
1977 West Texas State
1978 New Mexico State
1979 West Texas State
1980 Tulsa
1981 Drake & Tulsa
1982 Tulsa
1983 Tulsa
1984 Tulsa
1985 Tulsa

Championships by school[edit]

School Years of
Participation
MVC
Championships
Last
MVC
Championship
Last
Outright
MVC
Championship
Iowa 1907–1908 1 1907
Kansas 1907–1927 1 1908 1908
Missouri 1907–1927 6 1927 1927
Nebraska 1907–1918
1921–1927
12 1923 1923
Washington U. 1907–1942 3 1939 1939
Drake 1908–1951
1971–1985
6 1981 1931
Iowa State 1908–1927 2 1912
Kansas State 1913–1927 0
Grinnell 1919–1938 0
Oklahoma 1920–1927 1 1920 1920
Oklahoma A&M 1925–1956 8 1953 1948
Creighton 1928–1942 1 1936
Butler 1932–1933 0
Tulsa 1935–1985 25 1985 1985
Washburn 1935–1940 0
Saint Louis 1937–1949 0
Wichita State 1945–1985 5 1963 1961
Bradley 1948–1951 0
Detroit 1949–1956 3 1955 1949
Houston 1951–1959[14] 4 1959 1957
Cincinnati 1957–1969 2 1964 1964
North Texas State 1957–1974 6 1973 1971
Louisville 1963–1974[15] 2 1972 1970
Memphis State 1968[16]–1972 3 1971 1969
New Mexico State 1970–1982[17] 2 1978 1978
West Texas State 1971–1985 3 1979 1979
Southern Illinois 1974–1985 0
Indiana State 1976[18]–1985 0
Illinois State 1980–1985 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Missouri Valley to drop football as league sport". Tulsa, Oklahoma: Gainesville Sun. May 1, 1985. p. 5D. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "DRAKE VOTES TO DROP FROM CONFERENCE". Des Moines, Iowa: The Miami Daily News. November 28, 1951. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "Drake Quits Missouri Valley Over Injury to Johnny Bright". Des Moines, Iowa: The Southeast Missourian. November 28, 1951. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Drake Bulldogs 2008 football media guide" (PDF). Drake University. 2008. p. 41. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "2008 Washburn University football media guide" (PDF). Washburn University. 2008. p. 154. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "ST. LOUIS DROPS COLLEGE FOOTBALL". St. Louis, Missouri: Star-News. December 15, 1949. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "ST. LOUIS QUITS COLLEGE FOOTBALL". St. Louis, Missouri: Spokane Daily Chronicle. December 14, 1949. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Suellentrop, Paul (April 1, 2017). "WSU notes: Football's power started the MVC on this path in the early 1970s". The Wichita Eagle. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "2008 New Mexico State Aggies football media guide" (PDF). New Mexico State University. 2008. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "West Texas A&M Buffaloes School History". Sports-Reference.com College Football. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
  11. ^ Missouri Valley Conference 75 1981 Football/Anniversary Issue. Missouri Valley Conference. p. 52. 
  12. ^ "Missouri Valley Conference Announces Football All-Centennial Team" (PDF). St. Louis, Missouri: Missouri Valley Conference. December 5, 2006. p. 3. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "BIG COLLEGES MAY GIVE UP FOOTBALL THIS YEAR". Chicago, Illinois: The Lewiston Daily Sun. September 13, 1918. pp. Page 6. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "Valley Conference Faces Familiar Problem Again". Kansas City, Missouri: St. Joseph Gazette. February 12, 1960. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "Missouri Valley Conference Getting Too Far-Flunt; Louisville Joins New League". Louisville, Kentucky: The Lewiston Daily Sun. June 14, 1975. pp. Page 18. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  16. ^ "Memphis St. Joins Valley Conference". Wichita, Kansas: The Pittsburgh Press. May 22, 1966. pp. Page 4, Section 4. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  17. ^ "New Mexico State plans to leave Missouri Valley". Tulsa, Oklahoma: Lawrence Journal-World. March 22, 1983. pp. Page 11. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  18. ^ "Indiana State Admitted To Missouri Valley Conference". Tulsa, Oklahoma: Herald-Journal. March 11, 1976. Retrieved 21 July 2012.