MADISON — Wisconsin students set up shop Bascom Hill at 2:30 a.m., eager to get up for GameDay.

Badger fans had every reason to be excited for Saturday. In just five-and-a-half hours, their campus would be at the center of the college football world. Before the signs, big heads and guest pickers could come out, Wisconsin students attempted to get a head start on the fun.

The only problem? Well, they weren’t allowed to camp out. The university sent out a release reminding students that camping out was illegal and that the space had to be cleared before the sea of red invaded the hill overlooking the capitol building.

Still, that didn’t slow down any of the craziness that ensued in Madison on Saturday morning.

Ric Flair was present, and if you didn’t know any better, you would’ve thought Ken Bone was in the house, too.

Well, he was in spirit:

The signs were on point, with anything from “Urban Meyer steals Netflix” to “Jesus Chryst.”

If they weren’t related to Meyer or Ken Bone, they were directed at J.T. Barrett.

There was no question who public enemy No. 1 was. When GameDay went to the profile story on the Ohio State quarterback, fans chanted “D-U-I!” “D-U-I!” And when that incident came up in the profile piece, Badger fans chanted “You %[email protected]& up!” “You %[email protected]& up!”

You can fill in the blanks on that one.

Barrett will be the Badgers’ defensive focus on Saturday night, which should make for an All-American matchup against the Wisconsin front seven.

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But Saturday morning wasn’t about Xs and Os. It was about Wisconsin fans getting fired up for one of the biggest regular season games in school history.

Even Wisconsin greats like Joel Stave (just a joke) and Melvin Gordon were in the house:

Current Badger greats like Nigel Hayes didn’t miss the festivities, either:

It didn’t matter that the weather was dreary. The atmosphere provided a sneak preview for what’s sure to be a raucous scene at Camp Randall Stadium.

Naturally, “Jump Around” was blasted during the commercial break. Kirk Herbstreit and David Pollack pumped up a crowd, which didn’t need much to get fired up.

Rare is it that Buckeye fans are drowned out by anyone. But whenever the OSU fans started an O-H! chant, Wisconsin fans quickly nixed it. It felt like a true home crowd, despite the fact that the Buckeye fans were represented well.

And if OSU fans needed another reason to not like Ric Flair, he gave them one. Eight months after joining Michigan’s Signing Day extravaganza, the former professional wrestler announced his hatred of the Buckeyes. He then proceeded to pick Wisconsin and wave his red pocket square to the crowd.

But the Badger crowd was brought back to earth by what happened next:

GameDay might not have started or ended as some hoped, but already, the atmosphere lived up to the hype.

Will Saturday night? We can only hope.