Not that he needs any reminders, but there it is in black and white. Taped on the back of his office door. He can't miss it.
Someone posted the NCAA statistical rankings for Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin to see.
Ranked No. 73 in total offense, there sits Tennessee this week. One notch above Temple, at least.
"I have to see it every morning and ever night,'' Kiffin said Tuesday.
He didn't mention who posted the rankings.
Was it Mike Hamilton, his boss? Offense sells tickets, they say.
Was it his dad, Monte, coordinator of the nation's fifth-ranked defense? Come on, son, get it in gear.
Was it Florida coach Urban Meyer, sending one more jab at Tennessee's lack of "urgency" in the fourth quarter at The Swamp.
Was it Dave Clawson? Hey, Bowling Green is No. 65.
The Vols (1-2) are averaging 358.3 yards a game. But that figure is inflated by the offensive orgy against Western Kentucky on opening day.
The past two weeks have been slim pickings: 208 yards against UCLA and 210 against Florida.
Starting with the second quarter of the second game (UCLA), something went off track and it has affected the way Kiffin has approached calling plays.
There's another ranking that tells the tale. UT is tied for 118th in throwing interceptions.
In the first three games, Jonathan Crompton has fired seven passes to the other guys. Of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams, only SMU (eight) has thrown more.
Thus, Kiffin's preference to pound the rock rather than chuck it around. That's what he tried to do in the second half against a good UCLA defense. The Vols came up a yard short in a 19-15 loss.
He took it to the extreme against a great Florida defense, losing 23-13, and drawing a charge from Meyer that UT was trying to shorten the game rather than actually win it.
Not playing to win is about as serious an insult as a coach can imagine. Kiffin didn't appreciate it. I'd bet that's why he fired back Monday about the flu bug, among other things.
"It's not fun to play that way,'' he said Tuesday of his ultra-conservative game plan. "But that's what we had to do in that situation, in that stadium, versus that team, at this stage of our team.
"I hope not to have to do that, but I don't know that yet. We'll see how this week goes.''
This week is Ohio University. The Vols are favored by three touchdowns.
Surely the game plan expands this week. Surely the receivers are back in play.
Surely might be too strong at this point. Come Saturday night, Kiffin will see how it goes and play-call accordingly.
With Auburn and Georgia up next, the offense needs to find its mojo against the Bobcats. Kiffin said he's a positive thinker. He believes Crompton will have a good game.
And it will take Crompton having a good game - rather than another bad one - for backup Nick Stephens to see the field.
Lots of yards, lots of points. Big lead.
"I don't envision another scenario happening where Nick plays,'' Kiffin said.
In short, there won't be a repeat of 2008, when Stephens replaced Crompton after four games, held the job for six and lost it back the final two.
Kiffin doesn't believe in a short leash. He won't get the yanks. He said he told the quarterbacks as much when he arrived in December to replace Phillip Fulmer.
"I don't think that works,'' Kiffin said. "It's hard to rebuild confidence when you start doing that.''
If you're looking for encouragement, there is this: Florida and UCLA are two of the best defenses Tennessee will face this year.
Yes, there's still Alabama to go. But that's a month away.
In the meantime, it's vital that Tennessee's offense - and its quarterback - produce some happier numbers to post on Kiffin's door.
Mike Strange may be reached at email@example.com or 865-342-6276.