After a lifetime — generations, really — of being treated as Michigan’s little sibling, Michigan State received its most pronounced slap in the face Tuesday night when the Wolverines jumped the Spartans for the No. 6 spot in the College Football Playoff rankings.

This, of course, flies into the face of the logic that demonstrated Michigan State as the better team on the field only 2 weeks ago.

As CFP committee chair Gary Barta explained Tuesday night, the committee ultimately decided that Michigan is the “more complete football team.”

Statistically speaking, he’s right. That difference is the most acute when comparing defenses. The Wolverines are 6th nationally in total defense, while the Spartans dwell all the way down at 112th.

But numbers like that don’t necessarily resonate with folks who saw more proof in the pudding that was Kenneth Walker III rushing for 5 touchdowns in Michigan State’s 37-33 victory.

Adding injury to the insult is the fact 2 teams with the same scenario in front of Michigan and Michigan State are treated differently in head-to-head play. Oregon is ranked No. 3, just ahead of No. 4 Ohio State, on the strength of its head-to-head win over the Buckeyes in September.

Don’t worry, be Sparty

Michigan’s ranking will matter this week over a Stroh’s at the local watering hole, but that’s about it.

Everything Michigan State needs to do to reach the College Football Playoff is still in front of it.

If both teams win out — far from a given with Penn State and Ohio State still on both of their schedules — Michigan State owns the tiebreaker over Michigan in the place where it really counts.

The Big Ten standings.

That would provide Michigan State with a trip to the Big Ten Championship Game, and therefore a chance for yet another win over a ranked opponent. If that scenario holds, the Spartans will leap back over the Wolverines and reach the Playoff. Should Oregon or Alabama lose, it’s even conceivable that there will be enough room in the field for both Michigan and Michigan State.

If this were the final week of the season, placing Michigan over Michigan State would be pretty egregious. Thankfully, it isn’t. And that means there’s nothing for Spartans fans to get worked up about.