New England Conference
|This article does not cite any sources. (February 2012)|
|New England Conference|
|Region||Northeastern United States|
The New England Conference (full name: New England College Conference of Intercollegiate Athletics) was a collegiate sports conference in the Eastern United States, more specifically in New England, that operated from 1923 to 1947. As four of its charter members remained aligned in football from the conference's inception through 2011, this conference can be considered the earliest ancestor of today's Colonial Athletic Association football conference.
The conference had five members—four of them public land-grant institutions, and the other the private Northeastern University. Specifically, the four public schools in the conference were what are now known as the Universities of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.
When Northeastern left the conference in 1945, the four remaining members plus New England's two other major public land-grant institutions, the University of Massachusetts and the University of Vermont, formed the Yankee Conference under a new charter, officially beginning play in 1947.
The Yankee Conference would become football-only in 1975, and then was absorbed by the Atlantic 10 Conference in 1997. Membership changes in rival conference the Colonial Athletic Association would give that conference 6 football-playing members starting in 2005-06, all of which had football in the A-10.
With that, the CAA announced its football-sponsoring full members would start playing football in the CAA in 2007. Eventually, it was agreed that the A-10 would hand off management of its entire football conference to the CAA.
Further illustrating the continuity between these conferences, the automatic berth of the Yankee Conference in the Division I FCS playoffs passed in succession to the A10 and CAA.
- Connecticut State College (now University of Connecticut)
- University of Maine
- University of New Hampshire
- Northeastern University
- Rhode Island State College (now University of Rhode Island)
This is a partial list of champions of the New England Conference.