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Lane Kiffin endorses Ed Orgeron as next USC head coach


Public sentiment is clearly with USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron, who is undefeated in five games of Pac-12 play after upsetting Stanford. Athletic director Pat Haden said in a radio interview he received 136 e-mails endorsing Orgeron to take over on a permanent basis, and "that doesn't count the tweets, it doesn't count letters, it doesn't count the phone calls," he said.

Is Oregeron the right man?

Ed Orgeron's ability to turn around the Trojans' season, and especially his skills as a recruiter, make him a solid candidate for the permanent job, Gil Brandt writes. **More ...**

Even the man Orgeron replaced is pro-O, as former head coach Lane Kiffin told 710 ESPN in Los Angeles that the long-time defensive line coach understands the USC program better than any other candidate.

"How can you argue what he has done?" Kiffin told "ESPNLA Now with Mark Willard." "You have someone right there who has been at SC in great times, won national championships there. He understands the Trojan way, the players love him, the assistant coaches love him.

"How could you possibly even think about going and bringing in someone from the outside that isn't really going to know USC, even if they played there 30 years ago?" added Kiffin, the last remark referring to former USC linebacker and Denver Broncos interim head coach Jack Del Rio, who interviewed for the position earlier this month.

Because Del Rio has never coached at the college level, he would certainly need an experienced hand like Orgeron to oversee recruiting. But Kiffin does not believe it would be possible for Orgeron to stay at USC in a secondary role with the recent success of the team.

"I don't see a scenario now with Ed doing so well that you could say, 'Okay, Ed, we're bringing in somebody else. You got to go back to work for him.' That just really probably wouldn't work," Kiffin said.

Current players have already gone out of their way to offer their support for Orgeron, while a significant addition of the recruiting trail earlier this week only adds to his resume.

Corona (Calif.) Centennial offensive lineman Viane Talamaivao had been verbally committed to Alabama, but pledged to USC on Tuesday, one day after Orgeron publicly declared his interest in the top job.

Talamaivao is a consensus four-star prospect regarded as one of the top 10 offensive guards in the class of 2014.

And while Kiffin remains a wildly unpopular figure, even the most ardent USC supporter could not disagree with his assessment of Orgeron.

"Ed has done an unbelievable job. It's been awesome to see the players respond. I see USC winning the last three games," Kiffin said.

"They got one down and two more to go."

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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