USC coach Lane Kiffin voted his team No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sport Coaches’ Poll, after telling reporters that he would not vote the Trojans No. 1, reports USA TODAY‘s Brent Schrotenboer.
“I would not vote USC No. 1, I can tell you that,” Kiffin had told reporters earlier in the week.
USA TODAY revealed that Kiffin had in fact voted for the Trojans as the top team in the nation. (Coaches’ votes are confidential, except if they make what appear to be “false or misleading” comments about their vote publicly.)
Kiffin clarified his comments to USA TODAY on Thursday. He said that he meant that if he was a member of the media or another coach, he wouldn’t pick the Trojans because the program is still under scholarship restrictions.
“We have less players than everybody else,” Kiffin told USA TODAY. “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.”