It's clear that Uconn wants in the ACC, that we've always known. It's also clear that their best way to get into the ACC is to dominate the AAC. Downgrading to an indy status, where they will have no leverage for scheduling, a small fanbase (compared to BYU), splitting up their other sports into other conferences...I don't see that being a means to "showcase" themselves, to improve to the point that the ACC (or Big 12) takes them seriously.
Ask Cincinnati and West Virginia how dominating Big East football worked out for ACC inclusion. Cincy, especially. Louisville was nothing but a disappointment in that conference for football and was all hoops. UConn wasn't much different, and the ACC still took the Cards over the Huskies. They hold a grudge in the ACC like no other conference, it seems.
The cost of shipping the olympic sports around that frankenstein conference is going to turn UConn into UMD...they'll go broke and shutter some decent programs because they can't financially support them. Getting back with the Big East, I felt, was always the best and mutually beneficial thing for both sides to do. The Big East gets a basketball stud, and UConn keeps a healthy travel schedule.
Football independence...who knows? I don't quite get the appeal of going the ND route, but...stock up on the SA's, ND, BYU, and fill in a few games wherever else you can? Doable and probably more profitable than tying down to Temple and Tulane.