Prior to his leading the Fed, I viewed Bernanke as having been in the running for a future Nobel, although not being a necessary or hands-down winner.
Now, let's say that all of his unusual maneuvers at the Fed don't work. I believe his chance for the Prize will be slim. Correctly or not, he'll be remembered as the guy with the failed ideas.
Alternatively, say his methods do work and the economy recovers relatively quickly, with a minimum of additional pain for the banking sector. Should his chance go up? Will his chance for the Prize go up? Should he then be a shoo-in for the Prize? Could his success count as a remarkable and indeed unprecedented test of an economist's theories?