Buffalo is the prime example of a "dead weight" school leaving I-AA to join the MAC, and was a D-III program as recently as 1992. According to Murray Sperber in 'Beer and Circus' (2000) the UB president seriously believed that the school would use the MAC as a stepping stone to the BIG EAST, and then, in turn, use the BIG EAST as a stepping stone to their ultimate goal, the Big Ten, a conference of UB's "peers in research, teaching, and service."
As for Temple being included in the plans of Lincoln Financial Field since the beginning, please explain to everyone why it has taken so long to have a deal completed or why no tickets have been sold? Also, why do you get the impression that being a lesser tenant will be that great of a benefit for Temple football? Sure, they won't alternate between Veterans Stadium and Franklin Field, but that is still no guarantee that anyone will go the games of a moribund program that has already been forcibly removed from the BIG EAST Conference.
Sure, schools like Tulane, Minnesota, South Florida, San Diego State, and Tennesse State are tenants at pro stadiums, but oftentimes the results are counterproductive. Tired of playing at stadiums that were almost always woefully under capacity, Houston and SMU left their respective venues (Astrodome and Cotton Bowl) for much smaller (and more realistic) on-campus stadiums. Do UAB, UTEP, Memphis, Central Florida, really receive all that much of an advantage by playing at respective venues where their presence is overshadowed by a few a games year that involve teams other than themselves? The same will be said of Lincoln Financial Field and its hosting of Army-Navy.
As for having 3 teams in the Top 15 in recent history, your comments also apply to, among others, C-USA and most likely the BIG EAST. If the MAC is not a "legitimate [I-A] football Conference," it is ironic how often Temple schedules MAC teams, and even more ironic that, more often than not, these games are on the road and the MAC team is victorious.
Since 1987, Akron and Temple have met eight times, with four games in Akron, and the Zips hold a 5-3 advantage. Not too bad for a program that never should have been I-A in the first place (thank you Gerry Faust).
Since 1995, Bowling Green and Temple have met four times, with two games in Bowling Green, and the Falcons hold a 3-1 advantage.
Since 1993, Eastern Michigan and Temple have met three times, with two games in Ypsalanti, and the Owls hold a 3-0 advantage, but what record is better, the Temple with a 3-0 series lead or EMU hosting a BCS school twice in four years with only having to play one return game? A 2-1 contractual agreement where the 2 games are hosted by the MAC school and the 1 hosted by the BIG EAST school? No C-USA, MWC, or even WAC school would accede to such an agreement, not even if it meant the chance to play Marshall.
Since 1984, Toledo and Temple have met four times, twice in Toledo, and the series is locked at 2-2, with Temple's last win coming in 1987, and both of Toledo's wins coming the last five seasons. Also, Toledo has a win against Penn State that is much more recent than October 1941.
Since 1986, Western Michigan and Temple have met three times, all in Kalamazoo, and WMU leads the series 2-1 (the lead is 3-0 if you accept that Temple forfeits the 1986 game ex post facto).
Temple played at Marshall in 1999, and lost (34-0) and MU still has not played a return game (a prior meeting in Philadelphia was in 1974).
Okay, so Northern Illinois played Temple in Philadelphia (1989), but yet UNI still won (at the time both schools were independents).
So, since 1984, Temple is 10-14 (9-15*) against MAC opponents, with the MAC hosting 14 of 24 games (roughly 60 percent). Like I said, I don't know which looks worse, the 14 losses against MAC teams or the 14 road games against MAC teams, but neither one of those figures looks good as far as Temple's membership in a football conference, unless, of course, that conference was the MAC.
As far as football is concerned, Temple is a MAC team! The only problem is that instead of drawing 15,000-20,000 fans to a 30,000-seat stadium, Temple has been doing this at two different stadiums with capacities in the 50,000 (Franklin) and 70,000 (Veterans) range. I also can't recall MAC teams moving "home" games to locations like East Rutherford, New Jersey (vs. Penn State) and Washington, DC (vs. Virginia Tech). Temple has been lucky in that it has been more competitive than Rutgers and that it has benefited financially (relatively speaking) from being in the same conference as Miami.
It's too bad that Temple rejected an offer to become a charter member of the BIG EAST back in the 1970s, as there doing so led to the invitation and acceptance of crosstown Villanova, a school who would later block Temple from acquiring all-sports membership in the BIG EAST long after Penn State's (and Temple's) dreams of a bona fide all-sports Eastern conference had fell trhough more than a decade earlier. While Temple football has gradually improved in the last decade (they now hold victories over every BIG EAST school except for Miami) it has been far too little, far too late. Temple is the San Jose State of the East, a major market commuter school with a high enrollment, with no real public following (I hold out hope for Houston/Cougar High, and have not included the school in the same vein as the other two).