It's a long one so bear with me..
Several times in UB's history the school has seen it's Athletic department come to a crossroads. Typically they have made the wrong decision and that's why UB, an AAU member and state co-flagship, is the last such institution sitting in the ranks of the mid majors.
In 1903 the University of Buffalo was a small private medical school starting to grow other programs. The school was 10 years into their football experiment and had produced a team which was beginning to turn heads. They were strong the Syracuse, Hobart, Rochester, and most of the other upstate schools.
Then interest waned and the program dropped until 1915. UB Missed a chance to entrench themselves in the emerging Western New York sports culture while schools like Syracuse grew.
Fast forward to 1960. Buffalo, now a full fledged public university, was officially moving to the major level of college football. in the late 50's they were one of the best small school programs in the nation. Winning the Lambert Cup in 58 and coming in second in 1959.
As the campus and the school grew the anti establishment culture caused student push back, interest waned, the program was dropped in 1970,. This time UB missed out on a key era of conference formation and consolidation.