Nothing defines the competitive success of a college athletic program like a national championship. There is no higher pinnacle and no greater stage on which teams and individuals are called upon to prove their excellence. Butler's ability to flourish in the national spotlight has elevated the football program to the lofty position it enjoys today. With their most recent triumph coming in 2008, the Grizzlies have won five of the last 16 NJCAA National Championships in football.

That impressive fact is more than capable of standing on its own, but Butler has taken its national dominance to another level. The Grizzlies barely missed the national title game in 2000, due to a four-overtime loss in the conference championship game, however they did reach the national title game in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012. That makes nine national title game appearances in the last 16 years for the Butler football program, a feat unsurpassed by any other school in the country.

Few football programs can set out each autumn with the pursuit of the national crown realistically listed among its season goals. Butler, riding a rich history that makes such a pursuit more than talk and more than dreams, is one of those programs.