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Every MAC Football Team as a Mario Kart 64 Character


James H. Jimenez (illustration) / Screenshot: Nintendo of America / Using elements of photos by Electronic Arts, Kenneth Bailey and respective universities via Fair Use Act.

While all the Mario Kart games are fun (except Super Mario Kart for Super Nintendo... that shit’s hard!!), the greatest off all time has to be Mario Kart 64.

It’s arguably one of the greatest four-player games of all time and certainly the best multiplayer racing game ever invented. Even though the game came out 22 years ago (!!!), it’s still just as fun to play today as it was back then.

And, if you still play the game (as I do), and love MAC football I’m sure you’ve also wondered what racer matches up with each MAC team.

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking “but wait...there’s 12 MAC schools and only eight racers in the game. How can you possibly do this?” Fear not, I have a plan.

I compared the four worst MAC teams (based on conference record from last year) to four non-playable characters...just like those characters could mess up your race, these four teams were never in contention for a title but could still manage to steal a game or, at least, keep it close.

So without further ado, LET’S-A GO!!!

Non-Playable Characters

Thwomp - Bowling Green Falcons

Thwomps are the most annoying and difficult thing to pass in Bowser’s Castle just as BGSU can be for many teams in the East. Just when you think you’re in the clear, you hear that distinct “URGH!” and end up flattened and taunted, as it laughs at you. The Falcons weren’t able to flatten too many teams last year, but they did get to laugh at CMU and Akron in conference play.

Penguins - Central Michigan Chippewas

Sherbet Land is home to these annoying little guys that jump, slide, and spin their way into to blocking your path to victory...just like CMU has done to teams in the West (especially NIU the past ten years or so). The Chips were easy to pass this year, going 0-8 in the MAC, just like these guys are the least likely to ruin your race in the game.

Chomp - Kent State Golden Flashes

The unleashed Chomp only appears in one level, Rainbow Road, just like Kent State only appeared in one MAC game (against Bowling Green). But while he might not be around much, he’s sneaky and can catch you unaware - just like the Illinois Fighting Illini found out in week one last year when the Flashes almost pulled out a win in Champaign.

Bob-Omb - Akron Zips

Bob-ombs appear in almost every level and can really mess you up. They run back and forth across the road until an unsuspecting player gets blown up...just like the Zips did to the Northwestern Wildcats last year. However, smart players can hop over these or avoid most teams that played Akron were able to do.

Playable Characters

Mario - Toledo Rockets

Mario is the most complete racer in the game...just as how the Rockets are always considered the most complete football team (on paper anyways).

However, despite the great stats and players, both the Rockets and Mario are often not found holding the trophy at the end. They’re both great but somehow end up finishing just outside of first place.

Luigi - Ohio Bobcats

Much like Mario, Luigi is a solid contender and decent at everything but seems to be very unlucky.

Both can lead the way for most of the race/season but something always seems to trip them up and results in them falling apart late, leaving them in third place (or worse) - just as Miami’s late run did last year.

Plus, let’s not forget, they both wear lots of green.

Princess Peach - Buffalo Bulls

Peach is super fast and light while still having lots of power and great acceleration. Those qualities make her one of the hardest players to keep up with...just like the Bulls high-powered offense was last season. Buffalo got off to a great start, winning nine of their first ten games.

Unfortunately, other player’ items seem to keep Peach within reach and, because of that, she’s prone to dramatic comebacks and losing late - which also sounds like the Bulls who dropped three of their last four, including the MAC Championship Game in heartbreaking fashion.

Toad - Western Michigan Broncos

Toad is super light, can get off to a great start, and is one of the fastest racers in the game, just as the Broncos were last season. WMU had great acceleration early, winning 6 in a row at one point and starting 4-0 in the MAC.

But, once in first place, neither seem to get a lot of help from boxes/other schools and that allows for the other contenders to catch back up and pass them in the later stages of the season/race.

Yoshi - Northern Illinois Huskies

Yoshi, along with Toad, is considered to be one of the best racers in the game. He has a great top speed and acceleration and, somehow (as any true player knows), always seems to get lucky and get the best items which propels him into first place late.

The Huskies are just like that. Even when you think you’ve got them beat, they get a miracle star somehow and shoot past you into first place. For most, if you’re not using Yoshi, you hate racing against him...just like how many MAC fans hate NIU’s great late runs.

Donkey Kong - Miami RedHawks

DK is one of the heaviest racers in the game and, therefore, gets off to a super slow start...but once he gets going, watch out! His big frame is capable of bumping you out of the way and, even though he has average stats, he can make late runs to get close.

The RedHawks embodied that last season, winning just three of their first nine games. But they found their stride late and pushed their way towards the top, passing the better team (Ohio) on their way to second place in the East.

Wario - Eastern Michigan Eagles

Wario has lower stats and is one of the heavier racers. He’s also one of the least used characters (at least, I don’t know of anyone that WANTS to be Wario). But despite all that, he can surprise you sometimes and make things very interesting towards the end...just as the Eagles have done these last few years.

EMU has hung around in virtually every game the past two seasons and every contest seemed to be a one-score game. The Eagles seemed to fall late against the top-tier teams but manage to sneak past teams of similar talent - just like Wario does.

Bowser - Ball State Cardinals

Bowser is powerful but gets off to a very slow start, just like DK. He has average stats and, if he goes off the road, it’s real hard to get him back on track/up to speed. Just like the Cardinals.

Ball State started slow, winning just one of their first four games, and then seemed to go off the rails late, losing four of their last five games in blowout fashion - losing by an average of 28 points!!