As the old joke goes, Father Sorin set out from New York in 1841 to establish the greatest Catholic university in the world -- in California. While passing through northern Indiana, a snowstorm broke out. Sorin consulted with his confreres, and told them "Let's just wait here until the weather clears up."
What if...Father Sorin had actually made it to Southern California?
- "Welcome to the University of Notre Dame De La Mer"
- In 1887, students from UC-Santa Barbara travel south to teach ND students how to play a popular, new-fangled sport: beach volleyball.
- Residents of Carroll Hall continue to lament their long commute to class, due to its inconvenient location in South Bend, Indiana.
- George Gipp never freezes to death spending the night outdoors. Instead, he goes on to an illustrious football career and following retirement, be elected Governor of California, then President, where he develops Gippernomics.
- Blazin' Sea Nuggets will be known as FRESH Blazin' Sea Nuggets. Nobody will eat them.
- "Rally, dudes...of Notre Dame"
- Knute Rockne would develop the forward pass, only to abandon it after the first practice, frustrated with having to fish countless balls out of the Pacific Ocean.
- Charlie Weis rejects Notre Dame's head coaching position. Says he's not "swimsuit-friendly."
- Pasty Irish, German and Polish kids still flock to the school. Father Nieuwland abandons his research on synthetic rubber to work on a new SPF-200 sun block.
- Rival coaches continue to harp on Notre Dame's weather to potential recruits, warning of sun burns, sand rash, and "Aren't you going to miss building snowmen?"
- Welcome to the 2007 Blue-Gold game, brought to you by Mr. Zog's Sex Wax and In-N-Out Burger!
- Mark May is still loathed by the Notre Dame faithful, but now they cite "East Coast bias." They don't need another excuse.
- Girls are admitted in 1972, but ND closes Lyons Beach due to dropping GPAs of male students.
- Brady Quinn's and Matt Leinart's proximity to each other heightens the rivalry, which finally explodes into a battle royale when Quinn's posse cuts the line in front of Mood. Nick Lachey tries to play peacemaker, only to be summarily decimated by both groups. No charges are filed.
- The twin domes of the JACC, constructed in 1960, would be "augmented" in the late 80s.
- The college football world is rubbed the wrong way when Notre Dame signs an exclusive television contract. Through 2025, Notre Dame agrees to broadcast all its home games exclusively on E!
- Rather than taking to the broadcast booth following termination, a dejected Bob Davie falls victim to the San Fernando Valley adult film industry. He stars in 8 releases as "Nude Rockme", then is never heard from again.
- On November 14, 1992, Notre Dame defeats Penn State 17-16 on a last-minute two-point conversion while a sprinkling of rain falls from the mildly overcast sky. Despite the thrilling conclusion, the game fails to gain notoriety as the "Drizzle Bowl" due to the mass exodus from the stands at the first sign of rain.
- Rather than becoming an earnest indie rocker, alum Ted Leo releases several albums of sarcastic skate punk.
- On their way to the stadium, Notre Dame players hit a sign that reads "Be Excellent To Each Other Today."
- And the biggest way Notre Dame would be different if it were founded in California: "And here they are, your Notre Dame Fightin' Samoans!"