This seems like it should be wrong but it's not. In the seven-year history of the FedEx Cup, Brandt Snedeker is the first defending champion to make it all the way back to the Tour Championship.
A brief history on past FedEx Cup champions and how far they made it in the following year's playoffs:
2007 -- Tiger Woods -- Did not play in playoffs
2008 -- Vijay Singh -- Made it to Deutsche Bank Championship
2009 -- Tiger Woods -- Made it to BMW Championship
2010 -- Jim Furyk -- Made it to BMW Championship
2011 -- Bill Haas -- Made it to BMW Championship
2012 -- Brandt Snedeker -- Made it back to Tour Championship
Three of the six have fallen one step short of the year's final tournament, Tiger didn't play in 2008 (obviously), and Singh only made it two steps deep into the 2009 playoffs.
Not only did Snedeker make it back but he's actually ranked No. 10 coming into the final four rounds of play and has a real chance at going back-to-back -- $20 million in two years wouldn't be a bad thing.