Actually, if the BE football schools were to split and go for 12 members, and assuming UL and UC are already on board, I think (the BE would) be better off with the best of the MAC: Toledo, Miami (O), Marshall and NIU. NIU may be too far off, but otherwise I think those schools would respond well to moving up the conference ladder, plus you're still holding a more defined region, and one that suits Pitt near perfectly, I might add.
In JW10631's response to the above, the idea of MAC schools in the BE might dilute some of the recruiting and market appeal for the likes of Pitt and WVU. But, I'll counter with the notion we've emphasized on building a regional identity and fostering fan travel. Should the BE football schools acquire 3-4 MAC schools, then the MAC would either a) regress as a whole to 1-AA, or b) partner with the SunBelt in becoming the clear bottom-dwellers of 1-A. Dissolve some of the competition, and begin a cross-over battle with the Big 10, and perhaps years from now you'll begin to chip away at the recruiting edge of that conference, especially PSU.
None of this will happen so long as the BE schools make a committment to trying to succeed in football. This does not mean they have to field 4 Top 10 schools, but they have to make sure that Temple, Rutgers and company have the facilities, market their programs and fill their stadiums as best as possible. Name recognition is one factor for getting on national TV, the other is having rabid fans showing out for the program through thick and thin. That's why Marshall, VT, Oregon and the like are now popular programs.
Converesly, if the BE schools will show this level of committment, most any option they choose can succeed. If Cuse, Pitt, WVU and UConn continue to play solid ball, it won't matter who places 9th and 10th in their conference.