Lane Kiffin grades himself

As he has started to turn things around this season and earn the support of most Trojans fans, USC coach Lane Kiffin has typically taken the path of downplaying his own success as the Trojans' man in charge.

In general, he has tried to place most of the praise on his players, while indirectly praising himself through their recruitment. He did that again on Tuesday with Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley on 710 ESPN radio when the hosts asked him to grade his performance as a coach this season.

He told them he'd give himself a "C+" this season, which he called "above average." Told he deserved at least a "B" after his team's win over Oregon, Kiffin defended his decision.

"It's not really that big a deal," Kiffin said, somewhat tongue in cheek. "Remember, every coach we play every week says that we're the most talented team in the country, so we're finally doing what we're supposed to be doing."

USC is now ranked 10th in the country, its highest ranking in more than two years and its highest under Kiffin. But he said he'd have to do more to improve his own rating.

And, he said, a "C+" wasn't terribly bad for him, considering his past standards.

"I was a C student," Kiffin joked.