I am risking a colossal case of the mockers, but I was thinking about your post while cooking and couldn't not form a contrary opinion, so here goes
Those teams that made everyone keep saying 'you never know which French side will turn up' were much, much better than this one. They weren't consistent enough to be highly rated against the All Blacks, but the 2007-11 team had world class, experienced players like Dusatoir, Harinordoquy, Ibanez, Clerc, Pelous... They used to under-achieve given the quality of players they had, but they could still dominate a season. It wasn't just random world cup games, they won three six nations grand slams too.
France just don't have anyone like that now. Who in the French side now is a world class player with 50+ caps, and has long term partnerships with another player in French colours? In the six nations they've gone most of a decade without appearing in the top three. When they turn it on they can look amazing for 20 minutes or so, but they don't have the experience or cohesion to make a proper world cup campaign.