I don't see how MAC schools help Pitt, WVU, etc.
It's all about television, and those schools, several of whom have good football programs, just don't bring enough TV sets to make it worthwhile. None of the MAC are in a Top 30 market. As for Northeast Ohio, the interest is the Browns and OSU, not Kent or Akron. BGSU is in a little town. Toledo beat Pitt, but it is not in a big market. Miami (Ohio) is overshadowed by Cincinnati.
Cincinnati, Louisville, and South Florida (Tampa) have TV potential, more than Virginia Tech has ever had. Yet, with the imminent BC defection, the remainder of the BE really won't have a Top 10 TV market of its own.
What is needed is legislation that regulates the power of the conferences. The Supreme Court screwed that up years ago by giving more power to the conferences to negotiate their own TV deals, just as the courts screwed up the NFL by allowing teams to move at will.
In a better world, the NCAA would have control of the conferences. They don't have that now. There would also be a playoff - with or without the bowls. The big conferences don't want that, either. Just as the NFL controls what team plays in what division or conference, the NCAA should be able to control it in CF, too, but that's a pipe dream.
While the ACC raid certainly hurts UConn, WVU, Rutgers, the biggest reason it hurts Pitt the most is bacause of the high school football talent that Western Pennsylvania produces, even a generation after most of the steel mills closed. In the 1970s, Johnny Majors recruited a national championship team with 75% of its players growing up within 50 miles of Pittsburgh. Without Panther football, or with marginalized Panther football, Michigan, OSU, Notre Dame, PSU, Maryland and other schools will just take away the talent this area produces.
Because the Northeastern colleges put more emphasis on basketball than football (except Penn State, Pitt and WVU) and refused to get together to develop a real all-sports Eastern Conference that could have delivered millions of TV sets and big dollars for both FB and BB, we are now left with chaos and long-time successful programs such as Pitt and WVU are in a world of hurt.