According to Alabama secondary coach Jeremy Pruitt, when you get a group of guys together that want the discipline, and accountability to go along with a hunger for their degree, special things can happen.
Pruitt notes that winning football games and competing for championships is a combination of all of those things, as past national championship teams have demonstrated.
"Everybody knows about the winning we have going on right now at Alabama," he explained. "But we're there for more reasons than that. When we beat Texas for the national championship, we had 22 guys who played in that game who had their degrees. When we beat LSU for the national championship, we had 21 guys who played in that game who had their degrees. That's what it's about - developing the complete player."
During a recent speaking engagement, Pruitt explained that their challenge right now is maintaining their motivation while they're on top.
"Our challenge right now is: We're 5-0. We haven't had our nose rubbed in it for a while. Are we going to have the motivation to do what we have to do to keep getting better, or are we going to have to have some kind of failure to get to where we have to say, 'I told you so.'?
Alabama's remaining schedule with road games at Missouri, Tennessee and LSU, will test the identity and character that the team is made of, Pruitt explains.
"We've got five games here in a row where we'll kind of run the gauntlet in the SEC. It's hard to win on the road in the SEC, and any win you get, you are thankful for it. We're going to find out our identity. We're going to find out what kind of character we have."
The five game SEC stretch following this weekend's bye that Pruitt is referring to is comprised of road games at Missouri (3-2, 0-2), Tennessee (3-2, 0-2) and LSU (5-0, 1-0), and the Tide will get Mississippi State (4-0, 1-0) and Texas A&M (3-1, 1-1) at home.