SAN JOSE — San Jose State's bowl situation has gained more clarity after Conference USA announced plans for its bowl-eligible teams on Monday.
C-USA plans to send Southern Methodist to the Hawaii Bowl and either East Carolina or Rice to the New Orleans Bowl. Both are games that SJSU has been linked to as potential landing spots.
That leaves the Military Bowl in Washington D.C. and the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit as the most likely destinations. The Music City Bowl in Nashville could also come into play.
There are five bowl-eligible teams in C-USA and it has five direct bowl tie-ins. It also has a backup agreement which the Military Bowl. If the conference sent a team to the Military Bowl, it could've opened up one of C-USA's other bowls.
Instead, the conference announced two contingency plans based on the result of Saturday's C-USA title game between Central Florida and Tulsa. Under both plans, SMU will head to the Hawaii Bowl. The Mustangs are led by former Hawaii coach June Jones.
If Tulsa wins, it will go to the Liberty Bowl, Rice will go to the Armed Forces Bowl, East Carolina will go to the New Orleans Bowl and Central Florida will be in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl. Louisiana-Lafayette has already accepted an invitation to fill the Sun Belt Conference's spot in the New Orleans Bowl.
If Central Florida wins, it will go to the Liberty Bowl. Tulsa will end up in the Armed Forces Bowl, Rice goes to the New Orleans Bowl and East Carolina to the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl.
That all means that SJSU can likely forget about the Hawaii Bowl, a game that's appeared as a common projected spot for the past couple of months. The Hawaii Bowl is also contracted to invite a team from the Mountain West Conference.
The Military Bowl, set for Dec. 27, has agreements with Army and the Atlantic Coast Conference. Army isn't bowl-eligible and the ACC doesn't have enough teams to fill that slot.
The ACC could have as few as five eligible teams for its eight spots. That would be the case if Georgia Tech lost in the ACC title game to Florida State. In that situation, the Music City Bowl in Nashville could be available.
The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, played Dec. 26,ï»¿ will have an at-large spot available with the Big Ten not having enough teams to fill its eight commitments.
Follow Jimmy Durkin on Twitter at Twitter.com/Jimmy_Durkin.