A week after ‘getting caught’ voting his team No. 1 in the Coaches Poll despite saying that he wouldn’t, Lane Kiffin has decided to give up on the stupid thing altogether.
In an open letter to USA Today Sports and Grant Teaff, the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, USC’s head honcho opted to ‘relinquish’ his voting status. As he put it: "It is an opportunity and responsibility that I do not take lightly. However, I find it necessary to relinquish my voting status."
So there you go.
Look, Kiffin is as irritating and smarmy a character as you will encounter in college football. Or pro football. Or pee wee football. But he was unfairly slammed last week. No one ‘caught’ him doing anything – they simply misunderstood his initial statements.
The misunderstanding stemmed from Kiffin being cited as saying that he wouldn’t vote his Trojans No. 1 in the Coaches Poll, and then seemingly doing it anyway. It made for good jokes and talking points but, really, that single quote didn’t tell the whole story.
Shortly after Kiffin said what he said, in order to 'protect the integrity' of their dumb poll, USA Today officials released a statement noting that Kiffin had in fact voted his team No. 1.
But not really. Kiffin clarified everything later on.
"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."
As fun as it is to destroy Kiffin given his past transgressions, it’s all the sweeter when the destruction is justified. In this case, it wasn’t and isn’t.
It’s perfectly understandable that Kiffin got irritated and decided to relinquish his vote after what he got put through. Totally not worth the drama.