He's exactly right.
The AP's preseason No. 1 team has fallen to No. 21 after suffering three losses in its first nine games.
Stuck in the shadows of each loss is the performance of sophomore receiver Marqise Lee, who is having a record season not only as a Trojan but as a college football player.
On Wednesday morning the USC Athletic Department made a move to bring Lee's story to the spotlight, releasing an awards campaign video on its standout receiver's behalf.
Lee has caught 88 passes for 1,286 yards and 12 touchdowns through nine games this season, numbers rarely seen for a receiver.
"It would be hard to argue that he's not playing as well as anybody in America," Kiffin said after practice on Wednesday. "The dynamic plays that he makes, he doesn't get as many touches as a running back or a quarterback would."
In USC's 39-36 loss at Arizona, Lee broke the USC and Pac-12 record for most receiving yards in a game, making 16 catches for 345 yards.
Against No. 2 Oregon he gained 157 yards on 12 catches, including two touchdowns. Following the 62-51 loss to the Ducks, Coach Chip Kelly said Lee May be the best receiver he's had the opportunity to coach against, "He's impressive on film, but even more impressive when you watch him in person," he said.
"He's not an NFL prospect," UCLA Coach Jim Mora said, "he's an NFL-for sure. He could start in the NFL right now."
The only problem in Lee's campaign is his team isn't winning. At 6-3 the focus around USC isn't on Lee's outstanding play but the fall of a Trojan team that entered the season with national championship expectations.
Lee rarely reflects on his personal performance on the field, redirecting questions to focus on his team's performance and the game's outcome, "I don't come to the game thinking about how many balls I catch and how many yards I have," he said after the loss to Arizona. "The main focus is being up and doing what you're supposed to do in order for your team to win, that's about it."
It's hard to imagine a talent as great as Lee's going unrecognized by the nation, but if the Trojans don't find a way to put wins on the board against their next three opponents, Arizona State, UCLA, and Notre Dame, that could unfortunately be the case.
"We always tell our players the more games you win," Kiffin said, "the more the awards come."