The decade started off with bang as with the 2000 team qualifying for nationals thanks to one of the best team's Rice had every fielded. In the Spring of that year football captain Judd Samuals joined the squad giving the team further bolstering an already strong squad of seniors. The playoff run had the team beating Texas A&M and Truman State in making it to nationals. The team finished the year ranked in the top 12 for all college teams in the country.