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Heisman list loaded with ND opponents

We don't mean to keep harping on Notre Dame's tough 2012 schedule this offseason (though it did catch a break today), but another list lays out just what the Irish might be up against in the coming season.

The Heisman Pundit breaks down next season's Heisman Trophy race, with the top two front-runners facing the Irish in 2012. Three of the top six on the watch list play against Notre Dame next season. Four players on the 15-man list in total will face the Irish in 2012.

The leader in the clubhouse should come as no surprise: USC quarterback Matt Barkley:

Barkley returns for his senior year as the front runner for the 2012 Heisman. He’s got perhaps the best receiving corps in the history of college football catching his passes, so you know his numbers will be stellar. However, he must beat the expectations game or voters could eventually turn on him like they did Andrew Luck.

Michigan signal caller Denard Robinson is right behind Barkley at No. 2:

Four of the last six Heisman winners have been dual-threat quarterbacks and it is this style that has the most potential to wow the voters. The story with Robinson will be how he turned around a storied program. If the Wolverines challenge for national honors, he’ll be a strong Heisman candidate.

Oklahoma's Landry Jones comes in at No. 6. Wolverines running back Fitzgerald Touissant is No. 12.

Suffice it to say that Notre Dame's defense will have its work cut out for it next season.