July 12, 2006

All-American opponents stock schedule

Notre Dame can't avoid some postseason awards.

The Irish have faced four of the last five Heisman Trophy winners, losing every time. Southern California accounted for the bulk of that damage with Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush, but the Irish also fell to Nebraska's Eric Crouch back in 2001. Fortunately for Charlie Weis, Irish quarterback Brady Quinn represents the best chance to see a Heisman on this year's schedule, but avoiding college football's most famous stiff arm doesn't mean Notre Dame will break from entertaining top talent.

Notre Dame has also played against six of the past seven Biletnikoff Award winners, a.k.a. the nation's top wide out. The Irish faced Troy Walters (Stanford), Charles Rogers (Michigan State), Larry Fitzgerald (Pittsburgh) and Braylon Edwards (Michigan) in the year each won the award. Notre Dame also tried to defend Antonio Bryant (Pittsburgh) the season after he won the trophy and Mike Hass (Oregon State) the year before he took home the hardware. Those names don't include former USC wide out Mike Williams, who caught 30 touchdowns in just 26 college games.

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