Where he came from: Chizik was the defensive coordinator for the Auburn Tigers in the sunnier years of the Tommy Tuberville era, including the undefeated 2004 season. He also served as co-defensive coordinator for the Texas Longhorns in 2005 and 2006, and then took over for a struggling Iowa State Cyclones program.
Iowa State never truly found its feet with Chizik, and he departed before completing a true stint to take over Auburn after the resignation of Tuberville.
Is he worth it?: Tentatively. Auburn fans have said they think Chizik's understated, CEO-style of coaching is just what the doctor ordered for a program that looked poisoned from top to bottom during the late Tuberville era.
Chizik, a defensive-minded coach at heart, showed an appealing penchant for risk in hiring Gus Malzahn as the offensive coordinator.
Malzahn's hurry-up offenses generated prolific numbers for the Tulsa Golden Hurricane and Arkansas Razorbacks under Houston Nutt, and he's had so-so success in overhauling an Auburn offense that has struggled to find an identity in the defense-conscious SEC.
I like Chizik, in spite of his suspect record at Iowa State (he was not a great recruiter, and will have his hands full in the divisive Alabama scene). The Tigers are bowl-bound again, and they've bounced back from a three-game losing streak.
But the true test is still ahead. After getting shut out in the Iron Bowl last year in the waning days of the Tuberville era, the Tigs need to show they can remain competitive against their biggest rival or risk losing more ground to Saban's recruiting juggernaut.
A close game or even a win will show that Chizik definitely has this team headed in the right direction, and help ensure that all coaches remain settled after years of turnover.
Stability is the guiding principle, even if it comes at two million bucks a pop.