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Big-Time Changes For Big-Time Programs

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Iowa State's shift to the Pistol offense should help it better fit into the high-scoring Big 12. Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images.
Iowa State's shift to the Pistol offense should help it better fit into the high-scoring Big 12. Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images.

The Big 12 is on the move. League teams Baylor (No. 1), Oklahoma State (3), West Virginia, Oklahoma and Texas Tech were all in the Top 20 in the country in total offense in 2012. 

Iowa State wants to keep up. At No. 83 in '12, the Cyclones might as well be playing keep-away. But, Iowa State is gunning for it. The hire of Chris Klenakis as offensive line coach is a major move. Klenakis was the offensive coordinator at Nevada as the Pistol offense was being developed and implemented. And he isn't there for naught.

Klenakis will help Iowa State rev up its offense and turn Sam Richardson into an option QB. The Cyclones also are super deep in the backfield with half a dozen capable runners, including DeVondrick Nealy and JUCO transfer Aaron Wimberly, who is spinning heads in camps. 

Iowa State wasn't too far off. It made it to six wins and a bowl game, and even picked up three victories in the Big 12. It sounds like a hit. 

That loaded gun isn't right just yet. It's going to take a season or two for Iowa State to get this right. It has to bring guys through the system who learn the Pistol from the beginning. Plus, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Texas Tech are still on the schedule. With a defense that ranked 95th in the league, Iowa State is going to have to hope to outscore their league foes. Not gonna happen.