Alabama arrived at SEC Media Days in a different position than it ever had before. Just six months earlier, Clemson upset the Crimson Tide in the final second to hand Nick Saban his first championship game loss.

The team had to learn a hard lesson from falling one game short of the first 15-0 season and having a chance to possibly be considered the greatest team in program history. The players have spent the offseason assessing why they weren't able to finish the season as they had hoped.

"We realized the things we didn't do, after that game, that we should have been doing throughout the season," defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick said. "It wasn't nothing like the week before that we didn't do; it was just stuff throughout the season that built up."

What were some specific examples of that?

"The small things like we'd have some people come late to a meeting or just not wearing the right socks and stuff like that," Fitzpatrick said. "It might sound crazy but it builds up."

Senior Bradley Bozeman agreed with Fitzpatrick's assessment.

"It's all about the little things," Bozeman said. "The little things separate from us scoring a touchdown or kicking a field goal. It's part of the process. You have to do everything correctly regardless if you don't want to or not."

Now it's up for the players still in the locker room to learn from the loss and build upon what was learned.

"We played against a really, really good team, which I think when you get in the playoffs, that should be what you expect," head coach Nick Saban said. "And we weren't able to finish the game like we needed to. And I think there's a lot of lessons to learn, and hopefully we won't waste a failure."