Tennessee Vols quarterback Hendon Hooker has picked up in 2022 where he left off last season.

Hooker has led the Vols to a 2-0 start while passing for 523 yards and three touchdowns. He also has two rushing touchdowns (he’s essentially played only six quarters, as he was able to sit in the second half of UT’s season-opening 59-10 win against Ball State).

Despite the quick start, it appears that the national media — specifically CBS Sports — feels like Hooker is trending in the wrong direction.

CBS Sports revealed their updated quarterback power rankings this week and their top five doesn’t include Hooker.

Shockingly, he’s not in their top 10, either.

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Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) throws a pass during the first half of a game between the Tennessee Volunteers and Pittsburgh Panthers in Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.
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Instead, Hooker was listed in the “no longer ranked” category, along with NC State’s Devin Leary and Utah’s Cameron Rising.

Here’s their top 10:

  1. Bryce Young — Alabama
  2. CJ Stroud — Ohio State
  3. Caleb Williams — USC
  4. Drake Maye — North Carolina
  5. Grayson McCall — Coastal Carolina
  6. Dillon Gabriel — Oklahoma
  7. Garrett Shrader — Syracuse
  8. Stetson Bennett — Georgia
  9. Tyler Van Dyke — Miami
  10. Todd Centeio — James Madison

What are you doing CBS? Todd Centeio from James Madison is ranked in the top 10 but Hooker isn’t?

I mean, sure, Centeio has tossed nine touchdowns in two games, but he’s played against Middle Tennessee State and Norfolk State. It’s not like he’s playing elite competition.

And how is Dillon Gabriel at No. 6 while Hooker gets pushed off the list?

Gabriel has passed for six more yards than Hooker through two games. And he has one more total touchdown.

For much of the offseason, I felt like Hooker wasn’t getting the respect he deserved (outside of a few media outlets). But this pretty much confirms it.

Do these rankings matter?

Of course not.

But if you’re Tennessee, you still want the notoriety that comes with the rankings.

Because, well, recruiting. The more attention Hooker and other Vols get, the better it is for Tennessee on the recruiting trail.

If Hooker has a big game against Akron — depending on how long he plays — and leads the Vols to a win against Florida on September 24, I’m sure he’ll return to the top 10. But he should’ve never left the top 10 to begin with.

Featured image via USA TODAY Sports