The Ohio State Buckeyes are having their way with the Maryland Terrapins and, currently up 52-7 in the fourth quarter, are putting the capper on an extremely newsworthy week in Columbus.

First, the Buckeyes found out they are the presumptive favorite amongst College Football Playoff folks, coming in at No. 1 in their initial rankings. Then came news that star defensive end Chase Young would not play this weekend while the school looked into a potential NCAA-related issue. That turned out to be because of a loan that Young took (and paid back) in order to get his family out to Pasadena so that they could watch him play in the Rose Bowl.

Even without the distraction of the Young situation, the Buckeyes came into Saturday with plenty of motivation to beat Maryland badly. That No. 1 ranking is a huge bonus for the Buckeyes if they can keep it, ensuring a chance to play the “worst” team amongst the top four.

The objectivity involved in creating those rankings also appeared to be a major factor, which means that “how you win” once again seems very important in college football. In other words, when you’re playing a program like Maryland, who is 3-6, you better beat them by what you’re “supposed to” beat them by. No one’s saying that Ohio State will look bad if they don’t decimate Maryland this week and Rutgers next week, but there’s a fear in the air that it’ll be held against them if they don’t.

That’s probably why we saw Ohio State pulling out trick plays despite being well ahead in the first quarter and using their timeouts strategically in the second half despite being up by six touchdowns.

So you don’t really need to go looking for conspiracy theories as to why the Buckeyes would run it up. And yet, Fox Sports announcer Gus Johnson and analyst Joel Klatt seemed to imply at one point that OSU’s attempts to step on Maryland’s neck had less to do with CFP rankings and more to do with…Maryland’s involvement in the Chase Young controversy?

Transcript via The Spun:

Johnson: They absolutely will get the ball back here. Ryan Day pouring it on a little bit here. It’s personal.

Klatt: Yeah, this is interesting partner, with what’s gone on this week.

Johnson: Remember, Chase Young is from that Washington D.C. area. He said he borrowed money from a family friend. Who would know about that?

Klatt: (Laughs) This seems interesting, 42-0, taking the timeouts.

Later on, as the blowout game wound down, the two brought up the topic once again, noting that Day was “a little surly” in the days leading up to the game. Adding, “you hate the speculate,” while speculating, Klatt said it seemed like Ohio State “had something to prove” in the first half.

That’s quite the leap. It seems to imply that Johnson & Klatt know something that no one else does. Young did attend DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Maryland. He was recruited by Maryland but it’d only be weird if he hadn’t been.

If the implication is that Ryan Day wants to prove to the world that Ohio State is still very unbeatable without Young, that seems like a logical conclusion. But it’d be another thing altogether to float the notion that Maryland was being punished for something they did, especially without any kind of proof (or even conjecture). Now if something comes out in the coming days, perhaps we’ll see Gus & Joel’s comments as prophetic. But until then, it’s iffy.

To be fair, Johnson & Klatt weren’t the only ones noticing the way Ohio State was pouring it on during this game.

Still, OSU already has plenty of good reasons to run up the score from here on out. They were 42-point favorites for a reason. What we should really be concerned about is Rutgers next week. Pray for them.

[Eleven Warriors/The Spun]

About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation, Curbed, Neighborhoods.com, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.