It's certainly great to be out of the Big XII, but in honestly assessing the two conferences next to each other, I'm not sure it's any tougher at all. I don't believe our record would have magically been any better this last year if we were still in the Big XII - and I dont' think there's much of a gap (talent wise) between conferences in years to come.
This notion that we have to schedule a crappier non-con to offset the tougher conference schedule is over-played IMHO.
Our Legends division schedule in the Big 10 is far tougher than what it ever was in the Big 12 North. Michigan, Michigan State, and Iowa are heads and tails above and better than Colorado, Kansas, and Kansas State.
The Leaders division is comparable with the Big 12 South two strong teams and the rest near patsies.