Full credit to USC head football coach Lane Kiffin, who remarkably managed to take the heat off UCLA counterpart Jim Mora by being caught in a very public fib (and trying very hard to talk his way out of it). Earlier this week, Kiffin told reporters he wouldn’t vote for USC at No.1. in the USA Today coaches poll, though it turns out he’s done exactly that. From USA Today’s Brent Schrotenboer :
Kiffin told USA TODAY Sports by phone Thursday night that he didn’t think the quote misrepresented his vote. By saying what he did, Kiffin said he meant that he wouldn’t vote USC No. 1 if he were in the media or coaching another team. Because of NCAA-imposed scholarship restrictions, USC is operating with 75 scholarship players, 10 less than the regular maximum of 85.
“We have less players than everybody else,” Kiffin said. “So looking at it from the outside, I wouldn’t (vote USC No. 1). Did I? Yeah, I did. That’s not based off of 75 vs. 85. That’s based off of (USC players) Matt Barkley, T.J. McDonald and Robert Woods and Marqise Lee. When everybody has the same record, I can’t go into a meeting with our players and have them say, ‘You put that team and that team ahead of us.’ That’s why I did that.”
But the players normally would not have found out about his vote until the end of the season, making it impossible for them to raise objections about it before then.
“I don’t really buy things are confidential anymore,” Kiffin said.