The kicking team can NEVER advance a free kick (kickoff or kick after a safety). It is dead where the kicking team recovered it. This is true at all levels of football, not just the NCAA.
One thing that fans sometimes miss is that a “kick” ends when the ball is possessed (not touched, but possessed) by the receiving team. So if the receiving team possesses the ball then fumbles, the kicking team can advance.
Sometimes a kicking team will kick a “squib” kick that travels 30 – 40 yards but bounces, in the hope that the kicking team can recover, but if they don’t the ball will be at the receiving team’s 30-40, not at midfield as is the case with an onside kick that is not recovered. But as has been pointed out, a kickoff after a touchdown or field goal or at the beginning of a half is a free ball once it has travelled 10 yards. You always will see the receiving team pick it up, even if only to take a knee in the end zone. Angling a punt out of bounds inside the 20 is an art form. Kicking a kick off out of bounds is a penalty and the ball is placed at the 40.
Still upset over MSU losing huh? Yes it is legal get over it!