College football players are cautioned incessantly about the folly of farsightedness. They also are taught to respect every opponent, even if its ineptitude provokes uncontrollable laughter.
Imagine how tempted Florida players must have been to look beyond their game with Kentucky to this week's game against unbeaten Alabama. Yet the Gators took their opponent seriously enough to beat it 48-10.
Tennessee might have a similar temptation this week as it prepares for Saturday afternoon's game against a 1-3 Buffalo team whose only victory has come against something called Stony Brook.
The Vols have something to prove after their lackluster performance against Florida on Sept. 17. And they can't prove it against Buffalo. They will have to prove it against the teams that follow.
But there's still no future in looking ahead.
Not only might that produce a less than dazzling performance against a team it will be expected to beat in spectacular fashion. The view won't be encouraging.
It's not just a matter of how good some of those opponents are. It's also about how well their strengths will match up against UT's weaknesses.
In Tennessee's last two games, opposing running backs — first, Isaiah Pead of Cincinnati; then, Chris Rainey of Florida — produced a highlight video against its defense.
The Vols might wish they were playing against Pead and Rainey again midway through October.
After Buffalo will come four consecutive games against opponents with at least one big-time running back.
Georgia freshman Isaiah Crowell has rushed for more than 100 yards in two of his first four college games, including 147 yards against Ole Miss on Saturday.
LSU's offense is built around a physical line and the aggressive running of Spencer Ware, who is strong and fast.
Only the names will change against Alabama, which delights in pounding defenses with a veteran offensive line and the running of Heisman Trophy candidate Trent Richardson, who is strong and fast.
Then comes South Carolina, whose offense has been agonizingly inconsistent — except when it places the ball in the hands of Marcus Lattimore, another Heisman-caliber running back. Did I mention he's strong and fast?
That's just one side of UT's October challenge.
The Vols were manhandled by Florida's defensive front in their last game. Unless their offensive line improves drastically over the next few weeks, it will be overwhelmed by Alabama, LSU and South Carolina.
The Tide and Tigers might have the two best defenses in the country. The Gamecocks have three pass rushers, including freshman Jadevon Clowney, who look as though they belong in the NFL right now.
Alabama, LSU and South Carolina could all be in the top 10 when they cross paths with the Vols. UT hasn't played three consecutive games against top-10 teams since 1964.
That's what you get when you look too far ahead.