NCAA Men's Wrap: Big Ratings, Team Match Play & Substitutes?

There was a little grumbling about Texas not getting to replace the injured Beau Hossler and a lot of raving about the play by both Oregon and UT in the thrilling NCAA Men's finale.

Lance Ringler says "with so much on the line in college golf, it only makes sense to be able to change a lineup during the event."

But as he notes...

For any change to be effective, substitution would have to be allowed for any reason, be it injury or poor performance. Leave it to the coach’s discretion, just as in other team sports.

With a national championship at stake, Hossler’s pivotal injury provided a textbook example of why substitutions in college golf make more sense than ever.

In a sport already teetering on the brink of serious have vs. have not, carrying another player to the national finals and incorporating a sixth player during the season would add another cost factor that college golf can't ignore. Ringler points out the topic is a regular topic at the coaches convention.

As I explained to Cara Robinson on Morning Drive, the resources were there at this year's final. But more often than not, injuries rarely happen and adding another cost wouldn't do college golf any good. Also note the highlights played as I'm talking, Brandt Packer and team really captured that final putt in style.

In chatting with a few golfers and media today, the joys of team match play became another prime takeaway for many from the event. Once again, the combination of head-to-head play and representing a larger institution other than one's self led to a different level of energy, tension and passion we do not get with stroke play. Once again, folks couldn't help but wonder how Olympic golf is not something similar to this, perhaps with three-person teams?

Kevin Casey of Golfweek takes a closer look at the national champions and some of their trevails from last week.

And in case you missed it, Beth Ann Nichols filed this on UT's fast-playing Taylor Funk, who ended up in the spotlight trying to help Texas win the title as things went to sudden death.

The overnights are in and SportsTVRatings says the three hour, forty minute telecast in east coast primetime averaged 325,000 viewers, with 94,000 from the only demo that matters. I'm not sure where that number lands, but that's definitely double any PGA Tour fall event and has to be one of the channel's higher rated non-PGA Tour live telecasts. Hopefully that helps Golf Channel's investment pay off with the combination of eyeballs and buzz.