A preview of the 2013-14 FedEx Cup Playoffs

Will Tiger Woods play the Ryder Cup or won't he? (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy is in control of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. (Getty Images)

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Yes, I know football is just around the corner but before we fully dive into America's favorite season we have the golf playoffs and Ryder Cup to get to.

The Ryder Cup is easy to understand. Us vs. Them in a winner-take-all match play event that's as fun as the networks tell you it should be.

The FedExCup Playoffs, on the other hand, not so simple. The PGA Tour hasn't come up with a simple way of explaining (or distributing) points within the system that's currently set in place. 

Still, it shouldn't be understated that there will be $10 million on the line when the top 125 golfers on the 2013-14 FedEx Cup points list tee it up this weekend at The Barclays.

Let's take a look at what to expect.

The Process

No, that's not Tiger-speak. That's a reference to how we get from the top 125 at The Barclays to the top 30 at the Tour Championship.

It goes something like this: After The Barclays the top 100 on the points list (points are worth 5x as much in playoff events so somebody like Brendan Steele could jump from No. 67 to No. 1 with a win) move on to the Deutsche Bank Championship. Then the top 70 from there go to the BMW Championship and the top 30 move on to the Tour Championship.

Points are reset after the BMW Championship so that it will be rare to have a situation where the winner of the Tour Championship isn't also the winner of the FedEx Cup (and $10 million) and it has worked for the last four years although it's not necessarily a guarantee.

The Favorites

It's going to be difficult for the top 10 or so golfers in the FedEx Cup standings to not make the Tour Championship barring complete collapses over the next three tournaments. Here's the current top 10:

1. Rory McIlroy
2. Jimmy Walker
3. Bubba Watson
4. Matt Kuchar
5. Jim Furyk
6. Sergio Garcia
7. Jordan Spieth
8. Patrick Reed
9. Chris Kirk
10. Zach Johnson

Additionally, all seven FedEx Cup winners have initially started inside the top 20 before the playoffs began. A look:

2013: Henrik Stenson (9th before playoffs)
2012: Brandt Snedeker (19th)
2011: Bill Haas (15th)
2010: Jim Furyk (3rd)
2009: Tiger Woods (1st)
2008: Vijay Singh (7th)
2007: Tiger Woods (1st)

As you can see, it pays to be near the top before this four-tournament tour gets underway. 

No Tiger?

No Tiger. He won't even be swinging again for another month.

Why you should watch

Forget about the points and everything that goes along with all of that. It's likely that math won't factor into the equation of who wins the $10 million as, like I said, whoever gets to the Tour Championship and wins it will almost assuredly win the whole enchilada.

That's exciting -- the 30 best golfers of the season playing 72 holes for eight figures? Who doesn't love that. 

Plus, the entire thing has delivered some tremendous moments over the last few years. From Bill Haas' shot out of the water in 2011 to Jim Furyk's backwards-hat primal scream in 2010, it really has been a cool addition to the tour.

My Pick

Based on the information I just gave you we're pretty sure the winner is going to come from inside the top 20. Almost positive, really.

It's tough to not pick Rory McIlroy right now but I'm going to go with the most boring pick I could possibly go with and say the Year of the Georgia Bulldog is topped off with another one (Chris Kirk) taking home $10 million and the 2013-14 FedEx Cup.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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