Every year the people of Omaha without a rooting interest in the College World Series seem to hop on the same bandwagon.
In 2000, the bandwagon team was the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns.
This phenomenon always seems random, but there are some definite identifying factors that play into becoming Omaha's darlings.
One of these factors is the overall obscurity of the school—the less well-known the school, the better. If the school is terrible at football, or does not even have a program, chances are good the people of Omaha will love them (no conflict of interest for Husker fans who relate everything back to football).
Another important factor is how cool the team's mascot or logo is. People want to buy gear of the team they are rooting for, and the cooler the gear is the more likely people are to buy it. That sounds like a ridiculous reason, but when you are only going to root for a team for two weeks, things like this become crucial.
The final and most important ingredient to becoming Omaha's team is being the underdog. The College World Series is basically March Madness mixed with the Major Leagues.
Just like in the basketball tournament, fans love upsets and will root for them without fail.
In 2000, the Ragin' Cajuns were the perfect storm of all of these factors. Most people had never heard of them, they had an awesome nickname with a great logo (a pepper with flames coming out of it), and they made a nice little run in the series.
After losing its opening round game, Louisiana-Lafayette played its way into the semifinals of the CWS. The marquee moment for Ragin' Cajun fever was when the team pulled off a huge upset over perennial power Clemson on a crazy play in the bottom of the 9th that involved the game ending on a walk-off throwing error.
For the record, I still have two Ragin' Cajun hats from this tournament.