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GATOR BOWL: The Outback Steakhouse Gator Bowl is close to a deal involving the ACC and the Big East. The two scenarios: The runners-up from the ACC and the Big East; or the SEC's third place team against either the ACC or Big East runner-up (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 10/21). COTTON BOWL: The Mobil Cotton Bowl appears to be the front- runner to host the Big 12's No. 2team, but possible opponents remain undecided. The Big 12 is also considering the Outback Steakhouse Gator, Thrifty Car Rental Holiday and Builders Square Alamo bowls (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/19). BOWL COALITION: Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese has demanded that representatives from Auburn, Washington and Texas A & M -- all on probation -- be removed from the coalition poll, which votes to determine bowl matchups (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/18).