Every year, the NCAA hands out dozens of trophies to championship athletic programs.

In the Capital One Cup, there can only be one winner. The annual contest, which is entering its fifth season, seeks to crown the most successful top-to-bottom athletic program in the country for both men's and women's sports.

"It's the ultimate bragging rights in college sports," says Doug Flutie, a former Heisman winner who now sits on the Cup's advisory board. "If you have a very good athletic program top-to-bottom, you're going to get in the mix."

At stake: up to $400,000 in student-athlete scholarships.

"The money is huge, especially for smaller schools," Flutie says.

The Capital One Cup awards points to programs that finish the season ranked in the top 10 nationally. The scoring accounts for 19 men's sports programs and 20 women's NCAA athletic programs.

Last year, Notre Dame edged out Oregon for the Capital One Cup on the men's side, while Florida's women's programs dominated the field.

Certain sports offer more points than others -- college football can net schools up to 60 points each, for example, while smaller programs like bowling and tennis earn 20 points for a championship -- but smaller schools are fully capable of entering the competitive mix.

North Dakota State, for example, finished tied for ninth place last year on the men's side. In sports like college basketball, where small programs sometimes may impressive runs to the championship, final rankings can have a big influence on the overall picture.

Advisory board member Clark Kellogg explains that when you're looking at preseason contenders for a sport like college basketball, you're essentially looking at teams who could place highly in the Capital One Cup standings.

Kellogg also appreciates seeing athletic success rewarded with academic scholarship money.

"As an advisory board member I’m thrilled to be a part of a team that highlights both," Kellogg says.

Flutie, meanwhile, hopes his alma mater, Boston College, can improve upon last year's finishes. The men's programs finished 61st nationally, while the women's programs placed 31st.

"Hockey’s their mainstay," Flutie says. "Hockey’s going to be the mix for a national championship. Football is going to be improved this year. Overall, they have a great athletic program.

"They do it the right way top-to-bottom, but they have to get their act together [to rise in the rankings]."

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