Lane Kiffin backs Ed Orgeron for USC job, picks Trojans over UCLA

Jeff Gross

Coach O isn't the frontrunner for the USC job, but Kiffin thinks he should be.

Lane Kiffin went on ESPN 710 AM in Los Angeles on Thursday to discuss several different topics, including the future of the USC football program. Kiffin said he thinks current interim head coach Ed Orgeron should have that interim label removed.

Kiffin hired Orgeron as an assistant when he got the head coaching gig at USC in 2010. The Trojans are expected to make an outside hire -- and they reportedly have a whole lot of cash to throw at potential candidates -- but Orgeron hasn't been ruled out by athletic director Pat Haden.

Since Orgeron took over, the Trojans are 5-1, including an upset win last week over Stanford. Kiffin said he believes the Trojans will win out, beating Colorado and rival UCLA to finish the season 10-3.

The players seem to have responded well to Orgeron's leadership, and some have been vocal about the change in atmosphere. Earlier in the week, safety Dion Bailey praised the inclusive nature of Orgeron's approach in an interview with 710, saying, "He doesn't really run the program as a dictatorship."

Bailey added that Kiffin was too controlling, and that he wasn't able to get the players behind him. Kiffin addressed that subject as well Thursday.

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