College Conferences, teams, players gearing for the season By Sue Favor - October 19, 2017 College conference news: The Big Ten is going back to 18 conference games. The ACC will also go to 18 games. The Gamecocks’ rise, Lady Vols’ fall reflect SEC’s major changes. College team news: Can UCLA and Oregon build on their NCAA Tournament successes? Can Maryland win a fourth straight Big Ten title? Tennessee can be great, but it’ll come down to chemistry and coach Holly Warlick. How the Lady Vols plan to solve their consistency issues. The Gamecocks’ title is just part of the new SEC swagger. South Carolina is moving on from last year, even if no one else will. More rounds coming in the South Carolina-UConn series? Five things to know about Michigan after a 28-win season. Virginia Tech and Virginia seek improvement. Ball State looks forward to the season. Getting better is the key for South Dakota. Experienced UMKC is ready to write its story. Missouri sets their expectations high. Expectations for Pitt are low. College player news: South Carolina is seeing a waiver to allow Tennessee transfer Te’a Cooper to play right away. A’ja Wilson’s goal is to be national player of the year. Confidence was a process for West Virginia’s Chania Ray. College coach news: Gary Blair and Stephanie White say South Carolina’s lack of a White House invite is a disgrace. Other SEC coaches also spoke out. Mississippi coach Matt Insell’s engagement has mellowed his high-strung self. Bonus: Columbus schools and the NCAA are partnering for a friendly “Read to the Final Four” competition. Recruiting news: Hot New York recruit Emily Engstler has committed to Syracuse.