(By the way, pardon me for looking ahead to next week)
Jay at Track Em Tigers seems to think so:
As time expired Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium, I realized something else - Gene Chizik is one of the top five coaches in the country. He may even be the best. Call me a homer. I don't care.
I personally think the guy's just a meathead version of Larry Coker. I think at some point in the not too distant future, we'll look back and say "THAT guy won a national title?"
Chizik rode the coattails of an amazing individual player and got enough breaks to get himself a natty. Kudos to him for not screwing it up (and for "recruiting" Newton hard enough to come to AU in the first place), though I think more of the kudos go to Malzahn for knowing how to utilize him. After all, Chizik is a defensive guy and to this point Auburn's defense has been thoroughly mediocre for the most part.
To his point of how great a coaching job Chizik has done this season, I'm not sure I'm buying it at this point. I think how he does in Athens will tell a lot about what sort of season Chizik got out of his players. A loss, and you're talking about a 7-5 season with a single quality win (South Carolina). A win, and you're talking about an 8-4 season with all of the losses being to teams that could potentially finish the season in the top ten. That's probably putting a little too much value on Georgia, but when has Auburn ever done otherwise?
So far, they've gotten thumped by three arguably very good to great teams. They didn't really give any of them much of a challenge. They had a nice close win against a South Carolina team that nobody can figure out to this point. Every team they've beaten is to some varying degree a dumpster fire. I think the fact that their record is better than many folks predicted in the preseason has a lot more to do with the idea that MSU and Florida are worse than anyone expected rather than anything Auburn has done. If those teams were as good as advertised, we're talking about Auburn being 4-5 right now. Again, good for Auburn for winning those games, but they weren't exactly pushed by great teams.
What says the Dawg Nation? Now that the hot seat talk is most likely killed for a while, let's ask a hypothetical question. If we had to hire a new coach tomorrow, no limits on anyone currently coaching in CFB (e.g. you could have Bob Stoops or Mack Brown or Howard Schnellenberger or anyone else), would Gene Chizik's name cross anyone's minds?