The conference was established known as the Big 10. Founding members were: Aurora, Carthage, Joplin, Lamar, Monett, Mt. Vernon, Neosho, Nevada, Springfield and Webb City.
The Big 10 changed to the Big 9 when Springfield and Joplin left the conference and Cassville was added.
The Big 9 lasted until 1963 when Carl Junction was added to re-establish the Big 10 Conference.
In 1975, the Big 10 added McDonald County, East Newton and Seneca to form the Big 13 Conference.
In 1981, Joplin (Memorial) lured Neosho, Webb City, Carthage, McDonald County and Nevada to form the Southwest conference. The remaining schools formed the Big 8.
The Big 8 Conference voted to add McDonald County as its ninth member effective in July of 2013.