In a selfless move, devoid of any underlying motivation or kick-in-the-pants action from father Monte, Lane Kiffin relinquished his vote in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Long a bastion of morality, humility and basic human decency, the younger Kiffin realized the folly of a head coach ranking 25 teams weekly while working one hundred hours and attempting to keep THIS happy. He simply couldn’t in good faith commit to spurning or elevating those he hadn’t had time to see. After all, the possibility exists that his order might contribute to keeping a team in or out of the national championship whether they deserve it or not. These are troubled times with coaches in Chapel Hill making a mockery of the academic system and men in State College turning the other direction when a kid needs help. Monday is for saluting the Trojans head coach then for his decision to not stymie the wheels of BCS progress but embrace them.
That’d be fantastic if it were true.
In reality, Kiffin told a group of reporters he wouldn’t vote USC #1, did that on his ballot and then was outed by the Poll for misinformation. Normally, votes are kept confidential but for the existence of a lie. Kiffin voted his team in the top spot and then deflected on their genius in typical coach-speak fashion. “We’re getting there, but we’re not to the level of these other schools yet” is fine for public consumption except for the blatant falsity of it. An egomanical, Type-A personality running a major college football program slated to contend for a national championship doesn’t cower to his opponents. And as these men are wont to do, he lies. If a head coach’s lips move, he’s either selling or bending the truth. Few openly speak directly and genuinely, instead finding an avenue that works with their local press whether they employ politicking (Mack Brown) or aggressive innuendo (Nick Saban).
I have no issue with Kiffin’s faith in his team or wherever he ranks them. There’s an argument to be made that USC does deserve start 2012 at the top of the polls.
Own that. Flaunt it if you desire. Just don’t lie about it.