But shouldn't they still do whatever they can within that framework
This is like the people saying that BYU can never be a good football team because they're not P5. And that they'll never be attractive to a P5 because of their geography (both isolation and time zone), population base, and culture.
There's some truth to it in both cases. But that doesn't mean you just give up and stop trying. It means you focus on the things you can control and do your best to overcome the limitations you have. Every conference and every team has some sort of limitations baked in somewhere, it's about overcoming them.