Most coaches and players will tell you that it’s not about lighting up the stat sheet or looking good — it’s simply about winning games. An ugly win is still a win and that’s all that matters, right? Not in L.A. Like any other coach in the NCAA, Lane Kiffin wants his No. 1-ranked Trojans to go undefeated this season. He doesn’t just want to win, however. He wants his guys to show some flash while they’re at it.
“L.A.’s a town that isn’t real fired up about winning games 14-10,” Kiffin said Wednesday according to the Orange County Register. “You’ve got a lot to compete with. So there is a ‘Showtime’ element. There is a style factor to it.”
To coach in Hollywood, you’ve got to think Hollywood. Or, at least, that’s how Kiffin is approaching it. And for those of you who think this is some comment that Kiffin gave before thinking, it’s not. He shared the same message with ESPN The Magazine a few weeks ago.
“Winning solves a lot of problems,” Kiffin said. “But not a distant second, I think, is style. We want to play great defense, and we did here before, but it wasn’t our defense that has Snoop on the sidelines. It wasn’t the defense that was heading SportsCenter. It was the Heisman Trophies. It was the offense. Offense is what fills the stadium. That’s what LA is: Win, and win with style. And they’ll come.”
A lot of fans probably don’t want to hear that their coach is overly concerned with flash, but Kiffin is right that putting up points and winning with style sells tickets and creates headlines. However, Alabama won the BCS National Championship last season largely with tremendous defense and some ugly victories, so at the end of the day it’s the winning that truly solves everything.