FRESNO -- San Jose State officials were expecting to learn their bowl fate late Saturday night and remained confident they would receive an invitation.

Official word was not available when this edition went to press. For the latest news, visit www.mercurynews.com/sjsu-spartans.

Sources continue to indicate the Spartans (6-6) will be invited to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Dec. 21, securing their second straight bowl game thanks to their 62-52 upset of then-No. 16 Fresno State on Dec. 29.

"We'll see what happens," SJSU coach Ron Caragher said. "You never know. It's out of our control. I think we finished strong. There's nothing like finishing the regular season like that."

A source said SJSU would make an announcement as soon as it received word, with bowl invitations expected to get settled soon after Saturday's night's Mountain West Conference championship game between Fresno State and Utah State.

The conference has seven eligible teams for six guaranteed spots and doesn't expect to be able to secure an at-large berth. Reports have indicated San Diego State could be the team in danger of being left out, and a lot seems to hinge on what happens with Boise State.

The Broncos, despite a relatively down 8-4 season, remain the conference's highest profile team and best drawing card. Their landing spot figures to have the biggest effect on where the remaining teams end up.


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If Boise State goes to the Hawaii Bowl, it could put UNLV in trouble of being left home. If the Broncos go to the New Mexico Bowl, Colorado State could be in danger as Albuquerque is the Rams' most logical spot. An Armed Forces Bowl bid for Boise State would make San Diego State sweat, although the Aztecs are sweating regardless. Sources have told the U-T San Diego that SDSU appears to be the odd man out.

Part of the reason for SJSU's optimism is the Potato Bowl isn't expected to invite the hometown Broncos. The game's executive director Kevin McDonald did not include Boise State among the teams his game was considering during an interview last week.

McDonald mentioned several reasons he would like the Spartans to come to Boise, noting the relatively easy travel, the star power of SJSU quarterback David Fales and athletic director Gene Bleymaier's 30-plus year tenure at Boise State.

Bleymaier helped start what was then named the Humanitarian Bowl in 1997. McDonald said they "can't make decisions based just off that stuff," but said the prospect of Bleymaier bringing the Spartans to Boise would create a good storyline.