DEREK MONTGOMERY/Herald photoFollowing a 2004 campaign that saw the Badgers finish 15th at the NCAA Championships, Wisconsin’s wrestling team enters the 2005-06 season donning similar expectations, as UW entered the preseason ranking at No. 15 in the nation. Nine Big Ten teams enter this season ranked in the top-25 with Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota all ranked in the top-10, and sitting at the top of one of the most dominate conferences in collegiate wrestling.Last week the Badgers locked up their lineup at the intersquad wrestle-offs, where weight classes with more than one wrestler on the depth chart contested for spots in the starting lineup.”It’s never easy wrestling with someone you wrestle with every day at practice,” said UW wrestler Matt Maciag. “You know each other’s moves, strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes I wish we could solve it another way, but there’s so much depth at all the classes that this is the only way so let the best man win.”At the 133-pound weight class Josh Crass earned a starting spot that was all but locked up by returning All-American Tom Clum. But prior the season, Clum, who enters the season ranked as the third best wrestler in the nation at the 133-pound weight class, suffered a wrist injury, opening the door for Crass.Clum, the highest ranked Badger in any poll, took third place at the 2005 NCAA Championships and the Big Ten Championships and had season record of 28-5 overall last season. Despite the injury to his All-American, head coach Barry Davis remains confident the job can be successfully filled.”I’m confident right now. We have Josh Crass and some other guys who are going to step in at 133,” Davis said. “They’re a little inexperienced right now but I’m fully confident in those guys to step in and do a good job.”At the 141-pound weight class, Ed Gutnik will man the starting job after a successful 2004 season at the 133-pound weight class. Gutnik compiled a 23-12 overall record last season, going 5-3 in the Big Ten. The senior is coming off his second trip to the NCAA Championships after a third place finish in the Big Ten championship.Also earning their starting spot last week was Tyler Turner at the 149-pound weight class as well as Matt Maciag and Dallas Herbst at the 184-pound and 197-pound weight classes respectively.Maciag, a junior from Sussex, New Jersey, wrestled at both 197 and 184 last season and is looking to improve on his 9-9 overall record and contribute to the success of the 2005-06 Badgers.”Last year we did alright, obviously not as well as we liked. We got some new guys in the lineup this year and we only lost one senior so we definitely expect to do better than we did last year when we finished 15, and hopefully will break into the top ten,” Maciag said.At 174 the Badgers will turn to senior captain Kelly Flaherty, who finished last season with a strong 20-13 performance and a fifth place finish in the Big Ten Championship.Coach Davis is confident with his team this year and expects good production from all his weight classes. While the Badgers will be bringing back nearly all of last year’s wrestlers, the team still remains on the younger side at many positions and will have to learn as they go.”We have a lot of young guys competing this year but we also got some experience coming back,” Davis said. “We have to continue to wrestle well while we wait for some guys to come back from their injuries but I’m confident in our guys to improve from last year.”The wrestling season gets underway Nov. 4 when the Badgers take on UW-Oshkosh in Green Bay. Big Ten action opens up Nov. 20 when Wisconsin takes on Penn State.