A suprise team in all of this could very well be Ohio Bobcats. If Solich gets the football team turned around watch out they could be a darkhouse for the BE on "name" alone.
Cincinnati and Ohio were founding members of the MAC, and have played each other 50 times in football. The last time the two schools met on the grid iron was in 1981. Cincinnati made a decision to discontinue the Ohio series in favor of playing more eastern independents. Soon after in 1986, Cincinnati deemphasized the Miami of Ohio series from a season ending rivalry tilt to a game played annually at any random weekend. The only reason why Miami has stayed on the schedule of UC all these years is because they are classified as a "regional rival" while Ohio is not.
The UC situation is similar to WVU who would block the upstart Marshall from ever joining the Big East. The difference is UC's biggest rivals were Ohio and Miami and they've been moving toward trying to create separation, while WVU never really played Marshall before and is being slowly forced into playing them.
Ohio does have a few advantages over Marshall. Ohio's market is southern ohio, then maybe Columbus. A region where the Big East has zero presence. Ohio has a radio network with coverage that stretches from the eastern suburbs of Cincinnati to 50 miles across the West Virginia boarder. Ohio has branch campuses across that region additionally. People in southern Ohio will root for the Buckeyes first, but the Bobcats are the clear second preference well ahead of the rest of the MAC and UC. WVU has zero interest in southern Ohio, and only of equal interest in the some of the counties in West Virginia that boarder Ohio University with a few Bobcat radio stations in West Virginia. Marshall on the other hand in its Charleston-Huntington market shares that with West Virginia, who as a statewide school has a large following already in that part of the state.
Marshall does nothing for recruiting because their in a talent poor state, while the Bobcats are in a talent rich state of ohio, and is considered one of the most popular schools in the state which would help the Big East in recruiting. On the subject of basketball, Ohio has one of the biggest followings in the MAC with the largest arena (13,000 seats) in the conference. The Bobcats could draw 10,000 a game in basketball playing in the Big East. Marshall's basketball arena seats only 8,000 and the program is mostly an afterthought among Herd fans behind the football program.
The question really for the Ohio Bobcats is whether UC would block the Bobcats from entering. My guess from UC's past behaviors of breaking its traditional scheduling relationships with the Bobcats is that they would not be in favor of adding Ohio. Now if the scenario played out where the Big East lost even more schools to the ACC, they would have to reevaluate their stance toward the MAC and accept a few members from that conference for geography reasons.