SAN JOSE -- At least six bowl games remain in play as San Jose State athletic director Gene Bleymaier continues to work the phones to clear up the Spartans' postseason outlook.
"There's so many unknowns," Bleymaier said. "It could have been cleared up more last week, but it wasn't."
That's because several upsets last weekend led to there being 70 bowl-eligible teams for 35 games. Georgia Tech on Thursday became No. 71 -- even if it loses in the ACC title game to fall to 6-7 -- by receiving a waiver from the NCAA. Pittsburgh and Connecticut can punch their tickets with wins Saturday.
SJSU (10-2) is guaranteed a bowl as long as there are no more than 71 teams eligible. Central Michigan (6-6) is eligible now, but 6-6 teams that do not have an available conference tie-in cannot be selected ahead of teams with at least seven wins, so the Chippewas are effectively eliminated.
If the pool of teams jumps to 72 or 73, the guarantee is gone.
Considering SJSU's low home attendance numbers and the likelihood that it won't send a large contingent of fans on the road, a slim chance exists that the Spartans could get passed over.
San Jose State fans saw their 2008 team not get a bowl berth despite a 6-6 season. This year's team has positioned itself much better by closing the regular season with six straight wins, the last two on national television.
"It would be ludicrous," Bleymaier said of a snub happening this time. "It
Bleymaier has had discussions with the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl, Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Military Bowl, Independence Bowl, Music City Bowl and GoDaddy.com Bowl. ESPN will air the bowl selection show at 6:30 p.m. Sunday (after the BCS selection show at 5:30).
SJSU's No. 25 ranking in the BCS and its 10 wins are the biggest factors working in its favor. Bleymaier said interest has increased since the Spartans cracked the rankings on Sunday.
"I think it certainly helped our cause and has turned some heads," Bleymaier said.
That should ease the tension of those who remember 2008, when SJSU was passed over by the Motor City Bowl, which is now the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
The game's executive director, Ken Hoffman, sees a more attractive product in SJSU this season.
"There's a huge difference between a 10-win team and a six- or seven-win team," Hoffman said.
SJSU is likely viewed as a program that won't travel well, especially with none of the available games being near the West Coast.
The Spartans averaged 10,789 fans over six home games, so it's hard to expect much on the road 2,000 or more miles away.
That's why the end of the season was important. By finishing 10-2 and earning a No. 25 ranking, SJSU has something to offer.
"A lot of bowls haven't had a top-25 team in them," coach Mike MacIntyre said.
SJSU might have already had its bowl destination decided if it weren't for a couple upsets in the Big East and another in Conference USA last weekend.
Pittsburgh and UConn are both one loss from being ineligible but stayed alive by beating ranked opponents. Now both are a victory away from heading to a bowl. Pitt plays at South Florida and UConn hosts Cincinnati on Saturday.
Southern Methodist upset Tulsa, which entered the game unbeaten in C-USA play. The Mustangs moved to 6-6 with the win, taking the last of C-USA's five bowl bids. They will head to the Hawaii Bowl, which had been a potential SJSU landing spot.
Another wild card is Kent State. The Golden Flashes are ranked No. 17 in the BCS standings entering the Mid-American Conference title game and could land in a BCS game if they climb a spot to No. 16. That would cause a shift in available games.
"Everybody's sort of on hold, because it's a domino effect," Bleymaier said. "I don't think decisions are going to be finalized until Saturday night or even Sunday."
MacIntyre admits he would love to see his team in the Music City Bowl, but the Spartans aren't in a position to be picky.
"Personally for me, that would be awesome," said MacIntyre, who is from Nashville, Tenn., where his parents still live. MacIntyre went to high school in the area and spent his first two years of college playing at Vanderbilt, where his father, George, was the coach.
The elder MacIntyre, who has multiple sclerosis, has not seen his son coach a game in person but would likely be able to if the Spartans make the Music City Bowl.
The anticipation might be the toughest thing for SJSU to deal with.
"We're all messing around, (saying) 'Tell us! We know you know,' " quarterback David Fales said. "Everyone's excited. We want to know. We can't wait."
These are potential bowl spots for San Jose State: