It's not really about LSU fans "wanting" really bad to have a rival. LSU has never really had a huge rival a l a OU-Texas, OSU-Michigan, Bama-Auburn, etc. We are the largest and most successful program in the state and don't have an SEC or other big name college within hundreds of miles. We don't really NEED a rivalry.
Older Alabama and LSU fans don't see the teams as strong rivals. I mean, Alabama and Louisiana don't border each other, and have really no reason to hate each other. If I could have it my way, i'd hope LSU could beat Bama's brain in every year like we did in the early 2000's. Bama fans would want to just beat us like a drum every year like they did when Bryant was coach. Point is, we both don't really "want" to be rivals, and we aren't...at least in the traditional sense
But it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to sense the boiling competition between these two teams every year for the last 8 or so years..it has gone from just another game to one of if not the biggest game in college football on the road to the BCS National Championship.
When is the last time two rivals that were college football's best teams by a good margin faught to a standoff, and the visiting team won in overtime, only to have the visiting team lose in their own house in the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP game by 21 points? LSU wants revenge, and Bama wants to retain it's spot and prove that they are good enough to win in college football's ultimate setting against LSU at it's very best.
It's college football's best two football teams, in the same conference, squaring off in the biggest football game of the year in the first of November to decide who ultimately will represent the best team in the best conference in the land for the national championship
November can't get here soon enough