Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 8/13/12

In the wake of a foot-in-mouth moment last week when USA TODAY revealed that Lane Kiffin had fibbed about not voting his Trojans No. 1 in the preseason Coaches Poll, USC’s head coach has told McPaper to get bent.

Kiffin is giving up his SID’s poll vote and, more importantly, the opportunity to manipulate the voting process at the end of the season should his team need a boost. Always one to take the high road, Kiffin passed on the chance to shoot USA TODAY and the American Football Coaches Association the bird on his way out. But it’s easy to read between the lines.

USA TODAY’s own reporting on the controversy comes off pretty defensive of its role in the fiasco:

A coach's vote is normally kept confidential until the final poll of the regular season under an agreement between USA TODAY Sports and the AFCA.

But when a voter volunteers false or misleading information about his vote in public, then USA TODAY Sports, in its oversight role as administrator of the poll, will correct the record to protect the poll's integrity.

Yes, because “integrity” is what we all think of when we think of the Coaches Poll. Thankfully, the watchdogs at USA TODAY were there to set the record straight on a completely meaningless preseason opinion poll.

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