The Taylors are faced with a decision that could end what is already a fragile friendship with the McCoys. Lila informs her father of her alternate decision after her chances of attending her dream college have fallen through, Landry tries to help Tyra with her college essay, and Matt has dreams of attaining some kind of post-high school education.
Skipping ahead five months in time, Dillon High School finds its graduating class with: Lyla, who's father has come up with a plan for her to still possibly attend Vanderbilt; Matt, who plans to attend a school in Chicago away from Julie; Tim, whose brother tries to get a mechanic's garage going while planning to attend college himself; and Tyra, who's application is still up in the air in wanting to attend TU. Meanwhile, the issue over splitting Dillon High School seems small, compared to the fact that outside influences such as money and a control for power continue...
Coach Taylor is faced with building a football program from the ground up after the redistricting splits Dillon into two high-school districts. East Dillon is without funds, without a qualified coaching staff and without talent after the gerrymandering that was done by the Dillon Panther Boosters. Meanwhile Tim Riggins gives up on college and returns to Dillon only to find that you can't always go home again. Matt Saracen & Julie struggle with their roles in football crazed Dillon, now that Matt is no longer on the team.
Following an opening night forfeit, Coach Taylor struggles to regain the support of his new team. Coach & Mrs Taylor weather a maelstrom when the star running back of the Dillon Panthers is outed as an East Dillon resident. Tim Riggins struggles to find a new living arrangement. Matt struggles with an internship with an abrasive local artist. Landry runs into an interesting girl at his new school.
Coach Taylor & the team struggle to come up with funds for new uniforms & Coach makes a commitment that may get him in trouble with Mrs. Taylor. Riggins bonds with Becky, his new landlady's daughter. Matt's artist mentor influences both Matt and Julie. Landry's interest in Jess increases and he discovers that she knows football when she tutors him on kicking.
Coach Taylor tries to foster community interest in the East Dillon Lions by staging a pep-rally while dealing with the increasing friction between Vince and Luke, his two star players. Tammy is still suffering the repercussions of making Luke Cafferty attend East Dillon. Riggins finds himself pageant dress shopping with his landlady's daughter and hunting with a trigger happy Matt Saracen. Meanwhile Julie accompanies Devin to a gay bar and runs into someone unexpected.
Just as the East Dillon Lions start to perform as a team, the town of Dillon is rocked with the news of the death of Matt's dad. Coach & Mrs Taylor and Julie all do their part to help Matt weather the storm. Landry & Riggins & the rest all rally to help as well but ultimately Matt must make peace with his dad on his own. Meanwhile Becky connects with Luke after he's been paint-balled by some of his former friends and the two finally...
Craziness comes to East Dillon when their scheduled football game against the undefeated McNulty team means that the game will be televised. Meanwhile Lyla remains in Dillon after the funeral and she and Tim reconnect. Julie goes AWOL to a music festival in Austin in hopes of cheering Matt up. Following their first kiss, Landry confesses to Jess that he may still not be completely over Tyra.
Julie mourns the end of her relationship with Matt. Luke's family commitments interfere with his football. Becky's dad returns from a road-trip with a secret. The police stop by the school in response to an anonymous tip to search Vince's locker for a gun. Mindy's maternity gets more expensive than Billy was prepared for and the Landing Strip girls throw a fund-raiser. Tammy's staff celebrates an academic award with a karaoke night and Glenn goes a bit too far.