In Kiffin's comments to the media after USC's practice Thursday, he was asked whether or not Utah would be intimidated for this week's game. He starts out his comments being very complimentary:
You don't have a staff like they do that have won so many games, had so many ten-win seasons, and I think prior to last bowl have won seven bowl games in a row, including going into the Sugar Bowl and winning the Fiesta Bowl, I mean, there's going to be no intimidation factor.
He then goes on to say that USC didn't play Minnesota particularly well last week, and that it wasn't a game that would intimidate people. But then Kiffin's compliments turn back-handed:
They'll be ready to go. That's one of the things, really, that always happens at SC. For whatever reason the SC game tends to be people's Superbowl. So they'll be fired up just like Minnesota was last week.
Is Kiffin just a pompous jerk? Probably. But it's a disrespectful thing to say, and the type of thing that really gets Utah football players fired up. And it's also a symptom of the elitist attitude at USC that can really get the rest of the conference cheering against them.
It also sounds to me like a built-in excuse if Utah leaves the Coliseum with a win. Just like with Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, the Utes will only win because the "superior" team is disinterested in the game.