I always thought this episode would've been better served by putting O'Brien in the mix instead of Nog.
When Nog failed to take over and decommission Watters and turn that ship around, that was one of the most damning character FAILs you could possibly come up with.
With O'Brien, you'd have a legitimate cause for drama, and you could do it without
assassinating his character. Think about this: technically, those teenage brat cadets would outrank him, making it damned difficult for him to order them, yet he's the one with some sense and combat experience and if he tried to tell them what to do, there'd be consequences. O'Brien trying to force them to see reason and get out of whatever traps Watters tried to throw at them could work. I'd at least buy it better than the whole Nog thing.
The episode sucked, but at least if O'Brien were there you'd have an actual explanation as to why the cadets didn't obey right away. At least not until he handed their asses to them.