Georgia’s fan base isn’t only divided about Mark Richt’s performance and future, the choice of the Bulldogs’ top rival is in question.

That answer usually is decided by the age of the fan.

Young fans look at the 12-2 record against Tech under Richt and wonder if that constitutes a rivalry and a valid reason to hate “that team from The Flats.”

Anyone who remembers the eight-game losing streak to Georgia Tech from 1949-58 would be hard-pressed to hate Florida more than the “North Avenue Trade School.”

It was easy to hate coach Bobby Dodd in those days when Tech won 31 straight games, two SEC titles in the early ‘50s, including the national title in 1952. A charter member of the SEC, Tech played in the league until 1964.

Georgia, meanwhile, dominated the Florida rivalry with just five losses in the 1970s and ‘80s, yet from 1990 to 2006 won just two games.

So anyone under 45 years of age conventionally sees Florida as the chief rival, while the older fans would rather take care of Georgia Tech.

While many fans see Tech among the hardest to watch beat the Bulldogs lose, the Yellow Jackets haven’t derailed seasons for Georgia for a generation the way Florida, Auburn and even South Carolina have for SEC title and national championships.

And under the current coaching staffs, the programs don’t typically compete head-to-head in recruiting.

“We do have a lot of rival games,” Richt said before the 2014 game, “but I think everyone in this state can agree that Georgia Tech is the most important one.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s “Junkyard Blawg” last year addressed the rivalry ranking.

“Said one younger fan: “Florida is definitely first, in my mind. For the younger generation of fans, they are absolutely the team to beat, as they dominated us, usually win a lot in general, and it’s a chippy, mean rivalry. Add to that the Jacksonville aspect, recruiting, how comparable the universities are, etc.”

In 2011, former Georgia QB Aaron Murray explained the head-to-head nature of Georgia’s top rival.

“It’s one that you circle on the calendar every year,” he said. “When we’re working out in the offseason, we’ve got the first game, Florida and Georgia Tech circled. There are other games on the calendar, but those are the games that get us motivated and pumped up when we’re conditioning.”