BCS could learn from PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs
College football’s BCS and the PGA Tour have more in common than three-letter acronyms - they both needed better playoff systems.
The PGA Tour did that last week by tweaking the FedEx Cup. Well, maybe it was a little more than a tweak. This year, by virtue of securing enough points by winning the first two FedEx Cup playoff events, Vijay Singh could have “Tin-Cupped” the last hole of The Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club and still won the Cup and the $10 million. He could have turned into me for all four rounds and still won the $10 million. Basically, all he had to do was show up. Talk about suspense. Does anyone even remember who won at East Lake?
So next year, when they get to the final event, Sept. 24-27, they’re going to reshuffle, so that everybody who makes it through will have a chance. Unlike the previous two years, when points were reset from the beginning of the playoffs, this time they will be reset before The Tour Championship so all 30 players in the field will have a chance.
The size of the fields in the playoff events also will be scaled back to 125 at The Barclays, 100 at the Deutsche Bank Championship, 70 at the BMW Championship and 30 at The Tour Championship. Additionally, points in the preceding playoff events are now worth four times as many points as regular events. A Tour Championship win by any of the top five seeds will guarantee the FedEx Cup title outright, while seeds 6-10 will also have a good chance of taking the Cup with a victory.
This is a big improvement, although I’m still not sure most golf fans really care who wins the FedEx Cup. To most of us, the Tour Championship is just the last time we’ll see most of the star players.
College football playoffs, on the other hand … well, the interest in that would be, say, sky-high. Just ask Phil Mickelson, who during this week’s telecast of the LG Skins Game at Indian Wells, Calif., compared the BCS to the FedEx Playoffs, saying both needed tweaking. He agreed with the President-elect that an eight-team college playoff would do the trick. He also said Texas, by virtue of its 45-35 victory over OU, should be in the Big 12 Championship game, en route to a national title game.
Phil didn’t mention undefeated Utah, by the way, or even Boise State or Ball State, which are shut out before the season started, no matter what they do apparently. Utah really has a gripe. The Utes play in a conference with three top-25 teams. The Mountain West is arguably better than the PAC-10, ACC and Big East (and maybe even the Big 10). Perhaps the BCS should look into the concept of resetting its points. But that would require a lot more than a tweak.
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