The U. of Florida is taken aback, Athletic Director-Emeritus Ray Graves says, to learn Virginia is pulling out of its Oct. 27 date this fall as Gator homecoming prey.

Graves said U-Va. A.D. Gene Corrigan told him the Cavaliers want to reduce the number of major non-ACC opponents until upgrading the program is further along and offered to pay the $10,000 forfeit to get out of the game. Graves said he is appealing to ACC Commissioner Bob James for reversal of the cancellation and adds that the presidents of the two schools are dickering to avert what Graves called "a catastrophic situation for our football program -- I've never heard of it happening before." Go, Wahoos!

Earle Bruce is the heir apparent to Woody Hayes at Ohio State, according to the word from Columbus, Chicago, Orlando -- and Ames, where Bruce has directed Iowa State to successive 8-3 regular seasons among the Big Eight football titans. State law requiring the job be advertised five days means no announcement until Monday at the earliest; but following huddles with Buckeye Athletic Director Hugh Hindman at the NCAA convention in San Francisco, Bruce has an appointment in Columbus today or Friday and Iowa State A.D. Lou McCullough ventures, "I'm afraid I've lost him." Bruce, 47, is an Ohio State alum out of Cumberland, Md., and coached high school powerhouses in Salem, Sandusky and Massillon, Ohio.

Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh's all-time all-weather passer, clicked on 36 votes of 84 cast by media in NFL cities in winning the Associated Press' nod as pro football's MVP. Earl Campbell, Houston's super fair-weather runner, made it close with 33 votes, and is all but unanimous as AP's offensive rookie of year while Detroit's pass-rushing end Al Baker won defensive rookie honors, 61-16, over Cincinnati DE Ross Browner... Ann Meyers, UCLA's four-time All-America in basketball, has won the Broderick Cup as the nation's outstanding collegiate woman athlete for 1977-79... The Grandfield (Okla.) high schooler who scored 105 points in a 120-65 basketball game Tuesday night, 6-1 Kenneth Johnson, didn't even play the final 5:23. "Johnson is one of the purest shooters I've ever seen," said his coach; guess so, 82 shots in 27 1/2 minutes is purely putting it up -- and he made 45 of them (plus 15 of 16 FTs)... Just in from the U.S. Tennis Association: No. 1 father-and-son rank for 1978 to Washingtonians Steve and Dek Potts -- "a kick," says Steve, to be ranked ahead of No. 2 Pancho Gonzales and son Richard.

Rod Carew visited the only club in baseball with permission to talk to him at the moment about leaving Minnesota and told the media at Candlestick Park, "There's a pretty good chance I'll be in a San Francisco Giant uniform next season." But -- "Right now, it's a tossup between the California Angels and the Giants." Boston Red Sox: still interested. N.Y. Yankees? Says Carew, "I don't want to be put in the zoo."