The first-year USC head coach was portrayed as the villain in his return to Los Angeles, but he has kept quiet, built one of the best coaching staffs in the country, and let the Trojans' play do the talking.
It hasn't always been pretty; USC was blown out by the best team in the country, and dropped a game at home to the Washington Huskies. They also have a road loss at Stanford - but there is no shame in that.
When you factor in all this team has endured, it's about time that Kiffin get some praise.
No one would have been surprised if USC fumbled the season away after suffering two last-second conference losses, but instead they showed growth with a late win of their own against Arizona State and an upset victory over the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson.
The current squad has plenty of good players, but not nearly the talent or depth of Pete Carroll's dominant teams of the past, so it isn't fair to judge them by those standards.
A 10-win season, this season, would be considered a tremendous accomplishment.
It's safe to assume that very few people were envisioning 10 wins after the Stanford and Washington losses, and now with three games left on the schedule, it's a real possibility.
Remember, these are the guys that have nothing to play for, right?
Matt Barkley, T.J. McDonald and Jurrell Casey are reminded every week that they have no shot at playing in a bowl game, no matter how many games they win, and yet they continue to go out and compete to the final whistle every game – win or lose.
So while it has become accepted, and expected, for writers and commentators to take jabs at Lane Kiffin, it's about time they give the guy a hand for keeping his team united and focused, while others across the country have begun to crumble in the face of much less adversity.
USC is currently ranked No.20 in the latest AP Poll. (Jaime Rodriguez Photo)
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