College Football Undefeated Teams As Yellowstone Characters

I love college football and I love Yellowstone, and I’m willing to bet there is much overlap in the Venn diagram. The anticipation for Yellowstone’s Season 5 premiere on Nov. 13 is reaching “big college football Saturday” levels for many. So why not blend the two together and show the similarities between the top teams in College Football and characters on the show?

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Here are the remaining unbeaten teams with their corresponding Yellowstone characters:

Ohio State = John Dutton 

The unquestioned alpha of the Dutton family is John. A man of few words but when he speaks people listen because he drops dimes of wisdom. He is also seemingly immortal after getting shot multiple times in the Season 3 finale and living to mount his next coup. While the Buckeyes haven’t taken any true shots yet, they did survive a solid defensive effort from Notre Dame in Week 1 (back when we still thought the Irish were good) to win by multiple scores. Since that game, they’ve rolled opponents by an average of 34 ppg similar to the way John rolled his way out of a hospital bed straight to Helena as the Governor of Montana. And outside of a trip to Penn State on Oct. 29, the Buckeyes should roll their way straight to a shot at revenge against Michigan on Thanksgiving weekend. They are in prime position to win the Big Ten and get right back to the College Football Playoff after a one-year hiatus. 

yellowstone football
John Dutton is Ohio State; Beth Dutton is Tennessee.

Georgia = Rip

Rip may be John Dutton’s boss/father figure but is anyone betting against Rip if the two were to engage in a physical fight? The answer is no unless you are a moron. I feel the same about anyone thinking they can out physical the Georgia Bulldogs. A team that rode a dominating defense and a former walk-on QB to a national title last season is attempting to ride a not as dominating defense and the same walk-on and now NIL millionaire QB to a second straight national championship. While Rip’s origin story remains a little murky, we all know how Georgia hired a former player groomed by Nick Saban to return the Bulldogs to 1980 levels of euphoria. Kirby Smart has done that and then some with a combination of defensive expertise and elite recruiting. While I don’t think Rip would be very good at recruiting, he is excellent at defense. Just ask anyone that’s ever threatened the Dutton’s Yellowstone Ranch. He also doesn’t hesitate to take someone to the train station when necessary. Georgia will do the same. 

Michigan = Monica Long-Dutton

Monica is the beautiful wife of John Dutton’s youngest son Kayce. She is the granddaughter of Indian elder Felix Long and she has a deep appreciation for history and her family’s connection to the land and history of the area. She is complicated and can bounce back and forth between doting wife and fiery adversary. And every time she appears onscreen, I get a little but bummed out. Just like Michigan. Because while their rushing attack is effective, it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing. Wolverine fans also love to tell you about their storied history. And while they are as factually correct as Monica is when discussing her family lineage, neither is necessarily enjoyable to watch in real time. In a down Big Ten, Michigan needs only to beat Michigan State, Rutgers, Nebraska, and Illinois to set-up a possible undefeated end of season showdown with Ohio State. And while a win in Columbus over the Buckeyes would be a sizable upset akin to Monica murdering Kayce in Season 5, I wouldn’t put it past either one of them. 

Tennessee = Beth Dutton

Tennessee’s offense is a b***h no one wants to mess with. Sound familiar? Beth Dutton is the most memorable part of every episode of “Yellowstone” whether she is bathing nude outdoors in front of the entire ranch or using language that makes her father want to curl up in the fetal position and beg to get hit by 12 more bullets. The Vols have been the prettiest and most memorable thing about the college season up to this point. A team that was picked third in the SEC East currently sits at third in the nation. They are averaging 46 ppg and are the only team in the country to average over 300 yards passing and 200 yards rushing per game. The numbers are staggering. Beth’s numbers are also staggering. But with all of her bluster, Rip and her dad can expose the soft underbelly of vulnerability similar to what a competent passing attack does to Tennessee’s secondary. While I don’t think either are in it to win it in the end, I’ll be watching every step pf the way.

Ole Miss = Jamie Dutton 

No one really likes Jamie. In fact, most hate him including his own family. But you have to admire his adaptability. Lane Kiffin is nothing if not adaptable. He is also a heck of a football coach just like Jamie is a good politician. Kiffin and Ole Miss went from Matt Corral passing and running his way to 10 wins and the Sugar Bowl a year ago to running all over teams with a pair of great running backs. And he did all of this after losing both coordinators and a ton of starters. It reminds me of the time Jamie was completely excommunicated from his own family only to connect with his long lost biological father before murdering him by a river. This feels similar to how the rest of the Ole Miss season could go minus the felony. And if I’m taking odds on who will be first to go in Season 5 of Yellowstone, Jamie is high on the list. Same goes for Ole Miss who is entering a gauntlet of games @ LSU, @ Texas A&M, vs. Bama, @ Arkansas, and vs. Miss. State. That’s almost as brutal as Jamie’s first interaction with Beth when he shows back up for Thanksgiving. 

Syracuse = Lee Dutton

Even Yellowstone fans have a hard time remembering Lee. John Dutton’s eldest boy was killed in the first episode of the first season during a land dispute. He was well liked and respected by everyone but he was gone in a flash. I like Dino Babers and am happy he wasn’t fired after last season so we could see this level of turnaround which has the Orange undefeated and heading to Clemson this Saturday with a chance to shock the college football world. I also give them the same odds of beating Clemson as I give to Yellowstone Season 5 featuring a Lee Dutton ghost arc. But that Taylor Sheridan is full of surprises so maybe Syracuse has a shot. But I’m betting on Syracuse being the first of these unbeatens to bite the dust just like poor old Lee. 

Clemson = Kayce Dutton

Clemson is just always sort of… there. Kayce Dutton is the same to Yellowstone. By the way, I was shocked to see that the character’s name was spelled this way. This is the most effeminate spellings of this name for one of the most masculine characters on a super masculine show. Shout-out to my buddy, Kayce Smith, with Barstool but she is a “she” and this is just an odd character choice. Anyway, Kayce doesn’t have a ton of personality but is super reliable and always down for a good fight. Clemson has made a habit of sending defenders to the NFL and churns out College Football Playoff trips at an ultra-elite clip. The Tigers are in strong position to land in the Final Four again if they take care of business against Syracuse tomorrow and Notre Dame in two weeks. They will remain in the mix. I expect the same for Kayce in Season 5. 

TCU = Thomas Rainwater

Rainwater remains one of the more fascinating characters on the show. He wasn’t raised on the Reservation and believed he was of Mexican descent until he was 18. He never met his biological mother. Rainwater has a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard and he is the biggest possible landmine under the foot of the Dutton’s attempt to own the state of Montana. Yet most Yellowstone fans rarely think about him. Meet TCU. Sonny Dykes took over a team that finished 5-7 a year ago and has the Horned Frogs at 6-0 with a big home test against Kansas State this Saturday. If they survive, they are one step closer to crashing the CFB Playoff party. Tough tests at Texas and Baylor await in November but this squad is the real deal. Max Duggan is the real deal. Rainwater didn’t even appear in the Season 4 finale much like TCU didn’t appear on any preseason watch list. But they are both very much alive. 

UCLA = Jimmy Hurdstram

I know. I was surprised to learn Jimmy’s last name too. But not as surprised as I am that UCLA is one of 9 remaining unbeaten teams. Beating Washington was one thing. Beating Utah was another. Doing all of this in front of a 25-50% full home stadium makes what Chip Kelly is doing even more impressive. Jimmy went from ranch hand to rodeo master to crippled in a relatively short amount of time. A parallel path to Chip Kelly’s college football rise and NFL fall. Jimmy found a second lease on life at the 6666 Ranch in Texas and Kelly has found his footing in Westwood. Jimmy was also written off the show because Taylor Sheridan is placing him on a new show titled “Yellowstone: 6666.” Chip Kelly will likely be written off the undefeated show this Saturday in his return to Oregon. 

Chad Withrow is a co-host of “OutKick 360.”

Written by Chad Withrow

Chad Withrow hosts OutKick 360 and has covered Nashville sports, statewide, and SEC college issues and headlines since 2004.

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