When ABC-TV previewed NCAA football '76 in September, feature-profile treatment was accorded Joe Roth, the California (Bekeley) quarterback who lhad licked cancer and on the strength of a super junior year shaped up as your surefire all-American passer. Maybe Mr. Heisman 1976.

Joe Roth has cancer again.

Following his freshman year at Grossmont Junior College in EI Cajon. Calif., three years ago, the Idaho farm lad learned the mole on his neck was malignant - black mole cancer. Doctors removed five onces of tissue and thought, as time went on, he was healed.

Now, Roth - who had a good, but not record-breaking year because he lost his ace receiveer. Wesley Warker, to injury most of the season and he was dogged by various hurts - is undergoin chemotherapy at UCMedical Center in San Francisco. He discovered several lumps under the skin of his chest last month.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pount Roth was held out of Sunday's East-West Shrine game at Stanford - back spasms. it was explained. But he has clearance to play in this weekend's Hula Bowl and the ensuing Japan Bowl (where Navy's George Welsh and Maryland's Jerry Claiborne will be on the East coaching staff).

Says Roth, in Honolulu and still hoping for a short in the NFL: ". . . things are looking real good. I've had the stuff before so it's not that big of a deal for me. I feel all right. I never expected to get this far. I'm just happy to be alive and happy to be here. I can feel this scar under my ear and realize what's really most important in life." . . .