First and foremost I am in no way saying that the MAC will ever be the SEC, though one can dream. But I do believe that the MAC could become the new Big East. It seems when I talk to people they all have the same argument about the MAC and its problems.
There are 3 solutions to making the MAC a overall better conference.
1) Every time I brought up how good the MAC was in 2012 someone always posted a strength of schedule from fbschedual.com and went out of there way to point out that the MAC was always ranked with the easiest scheduling. Why? Because the bottom tier of the MAC was absolutely terrible. There are 13 teams that are in the whole conference. Take out the bottom 3 (Akron, Umass, EMU, or Buffalo) One could argue to even scout out each school and get rid of the schools with the worst fan base. No offense to Umass fans but I absolutely hated the addition of Umass. It was not-needed with the lose of Temple. The MAC decided it was a good idea to add a school that had no stadium that fit NCAA D1 football standards, which would ultimately make them have to play 2 hours away in Gillette Stadium for a couple years. Not only was that an inconvenience for fans, but Umass was not even ready to be apart of the FBS. Get rid of 3 teams and merge the conference into 2 (5-team divisions) or into one 10 team conference.
2) Stop scheduling so many away games with powerhouse schools. Granted a paycheck comes with it, but every year it seems like the MAC has the toughest non conference schedule. Slowly start bringing schools to us.
3) The fan base and facility's are terrible. Start investing more money into the football programs and stadiums. If you build nice facility's, have good promotions at the events then the fans will come. (Tailgating Events, Bus rides to away games, etc) Seriously, the games are no one near as close as going to even a semi decent school. The school spirit in the MAC is absolutely terrible. (Note: I am basing this as the MAC as a whole)