This is nonsense! Penn State does not have an attendance problem. They draw right behind Michigan and would probably draw more if Beaver Stadium was even larger....
I can see where you would have thought I meant they "would have an attendance problems like Penn St.", but that is not what I meant.
Penn St. dominated their region---the Northeast. They were the undisputed #1 recruiter in the NE. They joined the Big 10 and lost stature in the Northeast. They do not recruit like they used to in the Northeast and as such they have not been similarly competitive in the Big 10.
Their attendance wasn't hurt by a move to the Big 10, but only because they used to be one of the nationally knowns regional giants for decades.
Buffalo doesn't have that. For Buffalo to have any success in the MAC they have to recruit well. Being outside of their conference's footprint, they will not be able to pull the MAC recruits like their competition. So from a competitive standpoint they are in the same boat as Penn St....and now BC and TCU.
I don't think the Buffalo in the MAC situation is comparable to BC, TCU or even Penn State.
Buffalo is not that much of a geographic outlier in the MAC. The school is only 3-4 hours from Cleveland and the MAC conference tourney. Mostly this thead has been talking about the football impact of Buffalo in the MAC, but for basketball joining the MAC has been a complete boon.
Attendance has quadrupled in the MAC in hoops as Buffalo is establishing itself as the Division 1 basketball option for the city. Football attendance is now up with the hiring of Turner Gill from Nebraska. The problem is football has never been very good in Buffalo at any level they've played. All the good western NY football players end up at Syracuse, not enough talent to sustain two strong teams from that region.
I don't think playing independent is the way to go for any school not named Notre Dame.