The Western Athletic Conference is close to completing expansion plans that would bring Texas State and Texas-San Antonio into the conference for football beginning with the 2012 season, league officials said.
Denver and Seattle don't play football but are strong candidates to join in other sports, including men's basketball.
The WAC's expansion timeline has accelerated in the two months since Fresno State and Nevada announced they would jump to the Mountain West, leaving the conference with six football-playing schools, including San Jose State.
"You'd like to get the league set as quickly as possible so it settles things for recruits," SJSU coach Mike MacIntyre said. "You don't want to go into their homes (this winter) and have them ask you all kinds of questions."
WAC commissioner Karl Benson originally targeted next spring as the window for inviting new members. But that plan changed after coaches encountered negative recruiting by teams in other conferences, which have told recruits that the WAC's future is in jeopardy.
Now the league hopes to extend invitations by the end of November. Benson has scheduled a press conference for this afternoon.
"It's important to send a strong message sooner than later that the WAC will continue to operate," Benson said.
Asked if the Spartans have been affected by negative recruiting, MacIntyre said: "Not at this moment."
Texas State, Texas-San Antonio, Seattle and Denver made presentations last month to the WAC membership committee, which includes SJSU athletic director Tom Bowen.
Both Texas schools, which play in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA), appeared eager to make the jump to major college football. They expect to have football budgets that are "very comparable" to those of the six remaining WAC teams, Benson said.
The WAC is also interested in adding Montana, a highly successful FCS program. But the Grizzlies are conducting a feasibility study to determine if a jump to the WAC -- and all the accompanying costs, particularly for scholarships -- is worthwhile.
"History has proven that you can join the WAC and be successful," Bowen said, citing Boise State, which joined in 2001, as a prime example.
"We want universities that see playing FBS football a priority, and all the people we've discussed (expansion) with understand that."
Fresno State and Nevada are expected to remain in the WAC for football through the 2011 season. The new members would join in time for 2012 to avoid a season in which the WAC had only six teams.