Lane Kiffin takes blame for losses

LOS ANGELES -- USC coach Lane Kiffin feels he's largely responsible for his Trojans' unexpected 6-2 start to the 2012 season.

In a Friday interview on ESPN Radio's The Herd with host Colin Cowherd, Kiffin said he deserved "a lot" of the blame for his team's two losses and lack of discipline this season.

USC, which started the season as the No. 1-ranked team in the country, leads the FBS in penalties with more than 10 per game. The Trojans (No. 17 BCS, No. 18 AP) are now heavy underdogs at home against Oregon (No. 4 BCS, No. 2 AP) on Saturday night.

"That's the head coach's job," Kiffin said when asked about taking responsibility for the losses. "If you're gonna have penalties and turnovers like this, it should always go on the head coach."

Kiffin also said he feels bad for his quarterback, senior Matt Barkley, who passed up being selected in the first round of the NFL draft to chase "unfinished business" this season.

Kiffin said quarterbacks get too much of the credit when teams exceed expectations and too much of the blame when they fail to reach them.

USC's second loss, last weekend to Arizona, could have been prevented in a "million different ways," Kiffin has said multiple times this week. And he's continued to relive it while preparing for Oregon.

"It's been a hard week," Kiffin told Cowherd.

Kiffin relayed a story in which he walked by a television at halftime of the Los Angeles Lakers' opening-night loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday. He said he heard announcers calling for Lakers coach Mike Brown's job at the half, even though the Lakers were down just two points and only "1/164th" done with the regular season.

"That's L.A.," Kiffin said, laughing. "It comes with the territory.

"That's where we're at, and it's a great place to be."