After the Conference of Midwestern Universities (CMU) disbanded in 1972, the Ball State Cardinals were left without a home. 

That season the Cardinals were independent from an athletic conference, competing without a set conference schedule. Then, on May 22, 1973, the future of athletics changed as Ball State would soon become part of the Mid-American Conference (MAC).

The Cardinals were becoming a part of a conference that held a prestigious reputation in the sporting world, unlike the CMU, according to a 1973 Daily News article by Fred Blevins.

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