Bloomington is going to be quite a site on Thursday.

For one day, Indiana’s campus is going to be a haven for football fanatics. The typical draws to Bloomington – limestone buildings, Sample Gates, even hallowed Assembly Hall – all take a back seat this week. The wheels on College GameDay’s tour bus will be parked on campus and the most famous pre-game show will set up shop inside the walls of Memorial Stadium for No. 2 Ohio State vs. Indiana.

The game will be MegaCast by ESPN, airing with seven different presentation options. Reece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard will be in town. Lee Corso is coming home.

Thursday is all about Hoosier football.

One man made it possible. Ironically, it’s a guy who will be one the other sideline.

Kevin Wilson spent six years at Indiana, trying to bring relevance to a program that was the laughingstock of college football. He inherited a team that was in shambles and won just one game during the 2011 season, his first as head coach. Over the course of his stay, he steadily built IU into a competitive B1G program.

By the time Wilson left at the end of last season, the Hoosiers knocked off ranked opponents Missouri (2014) and Michigan State (2016) and notched four straight wins over rival Purdue for the first time since the 1940s. Indiana appeared in consecutive bowl games (2015, 2016), a first in two-and-a-half decades.

At Indiana, that’s as close as it gets to football nirvana.

Every now and then, the idea of GameDay making the haul to Bloomington would surface, but Wilson never paid much attention to the noise. “First of all, if you’re gonna be on GameDay, you need to fill up your stadium,” he would say.

Memorial Stadium is sold out for Thursday’s season opening clash between the Hoosiers and Buckeyes. Tickets range from $60 to $250 on secondary markets. There’s a general excitement and energy swarming around Indiana football.

Wilson built this.

Tom Allen helped. After all, had the Indiana native not arrived prior to last year and completely transformed the Hoosiers’ defense, last season probably wouldn’t have resulted in a second straight bowl berth. He added fuel to the fire when he tabbed the Week 1 game against Ohio State as “the biggest home opener in the history of Indiana football.”

But Wilson was the mastermind behind one of the most powerful offenses in the B1G, and found some form of consistency that allowed Indiana to gradually climb out of the cellar. It was Wilson that made football relevant in a basketball town.

Indiana might be Allen’s team now, but this is Wilson’s accomplishment.

Thursday will be the most significant day in IU’s football history since the team reached the Rose Bowl in 1967. Though he’ll be sporting scarlet and gray rather than cream and crimson, it’s fitting that Wilson will still experience this moment.

He wanted to build a competitive B1G program. he wanted to sell out Memorial Stadium and, whether he verbalized it or not, wanted to have a legitimate reason to bring College GameDay to Bloomington.

All of it is a reality now. Without Wilson, none of this would be possible. When he steps off the bus back onto the Hoosiers’ turf, he’ll be able to look around and appreciate what he built at Indiana.

Even if he is on the other sideline.