SAN JOSE -- San Jose State football coach Mike MacIntyre's name has been tossed around in connection with coaching openings at Cal and Kentucky.
The third-year coach, who has led the Spartans to a 9-2 record entering Saturday's regular-season finale against Louisiana Tech, doesn't think the talk will serve as a distraction for his team.
"I sure hope it doesn't, because that's the way it is," MacIntyre said. "If you're losing, they're talking about you as a coach and if you're winning, they're talking about you as a coach. It's all part of the territory."
MacIntyre, who didn't directly address specific openings, said the chatter about him is a reflection of the program.
"It's about our players, our coaches, our university," MacIntyre said. "People view this as something that's a great accomplishment of what our university has done. So to me, it's a compliment to our coaching staff and our players, because they're the ones doing it."
MacIntyre, 47, is under contract through 2017 after accepting an extension after last season. But his current salary, in the $500,000 range, would put him at or near the bottom of the Mountain West Conference when SJSU joins next season.
It's reasonable to expect the school to try to offer MacIntyre a sweetened package in hopes of getting him to stay.
However, it's unlikely a new deal could approach what a BCS conference school could offer. Cal's Jeff Tedford was making a reported $2.3 million a year before being fired. USA Today reports the average annual salary for head coaches is $1.64 million.
Bruce Feldman, who covers college football for CBS, thinks SJSU may have a hard time retaining MacIntyre.
"I think MacIntyre is one of the more intriguing candidates out there this year," Feldman wrote in an email. "What he's done at San Jose State in a very short time has been remarkable. Within the business, I know he's well-respected. He's also coached in the SEC before, and that carries weight with a lot of folks."
MacIntyre's roots lie mostly in the Southeastern part of the country. He played both at Vanderbilt, for his father, George MacIntyre, and at Georgia Tech. His previous collegiate coaching stops were at Duke, Ole Miss, Temple, Tennessee-Martin, Davidson and Georgia.
He believes his players are used to hearing the talk that surrounds the annual coaching carousel.
"I think kids today understand that because they watch ESPN all the time and they see it all the time," MacIntyre said. "So I really don't think that fazes them. There's not one single kid that's asked me about it, not one single kid that's said anything."
The Spartans are having their best season in 25 years but haven't approached a sellout in any of their five home games. MacIntyre said after last Saturday's win over BYU that he'd like to see that change.
"I can't wait to see this place sold out Saturday," he said. "I know it's Thanksgiving weekend, but these kids deserve a huge crowd."
MacIntyre spoke similarly during his weekly news conference Monday.
"I don't know what else you do on Thanksgiving but watch football and eat turkey," he said.
He also said this year's accomplishments haven't reached what his goals for the program are.
"We're not close to where we want to be yet," MacIntyre said. "We've won more games, but the program's got to keep growing. We don't want to be a one-hit wonder. This is only our second year of 85 scholarships. I can't wait until the fourth or fifth year of 85 scholarships."
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Louisiana Tech (9-2, 4-1 WAC) at San Jose State (9-2, 4-1), 7:30 p.m. ESPN2