Alabama coach Nick Saban praised offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin during Friday’s SEC Championship Game afternoon press conference, telling inquisitive reporters that the 41-year-old innovate play-caller is “absolutely” ready to become a head coach again.

Whether that was in effort to avoid losing Kiffin to SEC West rival LSU or just warranted praise for three years of elite offensive production, the words couldn’t have been more true.

“I think he’s proven (that he’s ready),” Saban said. “When he was a head coach (before) he had a reasonably good amount of success — much more than I think he gets credit for — and he’s done a phenomenal job in the three years that he’s been with us, relative to taking the players that we had and actually molding a system especially for the quarterback to be successful in. “And I think those are signs of tremendous maturity as a coach who is not just committed to a system but committed to doing the things he has to do to help players be successful.”

Earlier today, multiple reports indicated that one way or another, Kiffin would be moving on from the Tide in 2017. He currently has an interview lined up with Houston and has been pursued by Ed Orgeron to take over the Tigers’ OC duties with a pay raise.

But now that Kiffin has Saban’s official blessing to be a head coach again after failed seasons with the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee, and USC in years past, you can count on more offers to come within the next few weeks, assuming he decides to play this thing out.